FEATURED /// Feb 24, 2022
A Life of Loyalty, Honor & Patriotism
African Americans have a long and proud history of serving in the United States military, and defending our nation on the battlefield. At ADS, we’re proud to celebrate the accomplishments of America’s Black service members – not just during African American History Month – but all throughout the year.
They’re heroes like our own Vice President - Customer Focus, Retired Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Levi J. Wilson Sr.
Over his long and decorated 30-year career in the U.S. Marines, Levi served American Presidents at both Camp David and the U.S. Embassy in Germany, oversaw the Recruiting Command in Houston, and not only led Marines into Iraq during Desert Storm and Desert Shield, but brought them all home. Alive.
Raised by his grandmother, Levi grew up poor and only joined the Marines in 1972 as a way to pay for college. His initial plan was to serve two years, just long enough to afford the tuition at tiny Benedict College, a private, historically black college in Columbia, South Carolina. He never got there. By the time those two years were up, Levi Wilson had become a Marine Sergeant, and thanks to his hard work and perseverance, found that there was indeed something else out there for him. Just as his beloved grandmother had always promised there would be.
“I loved it,” he says of those early days in the Marines. Yet he never remembers anyone seeing him as a Black man. “In the Marines,” he says, “we were all green.”
Levi never dreamed he’d make the rank of Sergeant, let alone Sergeant Major – the ninth and highest enlisted rank in the Marine Corps. But that’s part of what makes Levi Wilson’s story so amazing. We think it’s much better to hear Levi tell his own story than hear it from us, so if you haven’t watched this video before, do yourself a favor.
We’re so proud to call you our colleague and friend, Levi! Thank you for your incredible service and leadership, to both our company … and our country.