Col. Eldridge Singleton Appointed First Black Commander of WHINSEC: A Milestone in Military Leadership

Col. Eldridge Singleton Appointed First Black Commander of WHINSEC: A Milestone in Military Leadership

By Leslie Hudgins

On the eve of Juneteenth, history was made at the Fort Moore military base. Col. Eldridge Singleton was officially named the first Black Commander and Commandant of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). The ceremonious passing of the reins of leadership from Colonel Michael Rogowski to Colonel Eldridge "Raj" Singleton regularly occurs for service members every two to four years.

Singleton has served in the U.S. Army for more than 2 decades. His nomination represents a significant turning point for the institute and a source of pride for the military community in attendance.

As the commander and commandant of WHINSEC, Singleton's responsibilities are to lead and mentor soldiers and civilian personnel and oversee students' academic development. "My job as a commander is to lead, coach, and mentor. As a commandant, it's about the care, feeding, and development of students through different courses and curricula," Singleton stated.

Singleton is a West Point graduate turned infantryman. He says his work as a special operator gave him the chance to work with military partners from other countries. Later in his career, he became a foreign area officer and international relations specialist.

Singleton comes from a Caribbean background and is fully fluent in Spanish. He says he finds personal fulfillment in his role at WHINSEC, which serves Latin America and the Caribbean. "It's a connecting moment for me. WHINSEC is not just about Spanish or Portuguese-speaking Latin Americans. It's about everyone, including those from the Caribbean," he said. 

Singleton was joined at the ceremony by his wife, daughter, and loving mother. When asked about the significance of Edward's achievement as the first Black person in this role, his mother, Genova Singleton, says since he was a child, he was always destined for greatness. "I knew a long time ago that my son stood on the shoulders of great giants. He was destined to succeed. There is absolutely no question about that."  

Singleton's advice to young men and women aspiring to a military or public service career is straightforward: "Come into it with an open mind and eagerness. It's truly an honor to serve. There's a lot of impactful work within the civil service and the military. Get involved—that makes this nation amazing," Singleton encouraged.

As Eldridge Singleton steps into his new role, his journey from West Point to becoming the commander and commandant of WHINSEC is a testament to his dedication, diverse experiences, and commitment to inclusivity and strategic engagement. His leadership promises to inspire and shape the next generation of military and civilian leaders.

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