COLUMBUS (WCMH) — John Carter was just 11 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, but from that moment, he knew his purpose in life.
“I always had this feeling, be the best you can be at whatever you do,” Carter said. “Being African-American, my standards were much greater than other standards. I had to be better because the playing field was not equal all the way across, even in the military.”
Instead of looking at segregated America as his barrier, it was his motivation. Carter took every opportunity to attend training and military schools, working his way from the enlisted ranks to a full bird Colonel, earning so many degrees and awards, it was hard to keep track.
For Carter, the one that holds the most value is the Legion of Merit.
“It’s serving above and beyond. In other words, you’ve excelled above your peers in your assignment,” he said of the Legion of Merit.
Carter went on to become the first and only black commandant of the military school in Columbus.