Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
Part of the Biography television series from A&E, this documentary reviews the military and political career of General Colin Powell. Powell went to South Vietnam as a military advisor in 1962, returning again in 1968 for a second tour of duty as a battalion executive officer. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, a Soldier's Medal, and the Legion of Merit for his exemplary service in Vietnam. Powell later attended George Washington University, obtaining a Master of Business Administration degree in 1971. Upon graduation, he was awarded a White House fellowship, where he began his involvement in politics. From his position as an executive assistant to the Secretary of Energy under the Carter administration to his role as military assistant to the Defense Secretary during the Reagan administration, Powell worked his way up through a series of high-level positions while also advancing his military career. From 1987 to 1989 Powell served as President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser. In 1989, under the Bush administration, he was made a four-star general and was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, becoming the youngest person and first African American to hold the post, achieving international prominence for his role in the U.S. military effort against Iraq (operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm) in 1990 and 1991. On September 30, 1993, General Powell retired from the U.S. Army.