In a multi part interview, General Colin Powell speaks with Veterans of FreeEnterprise.
The first thing you need to know about Colin Powell is that you should address him as “General Powell,” not “Secretary Powell.” The second thing you should know is that he is funny—disarmingly funny, in fact.
One of the most esteemed leaders in U.S. military history, Powell joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) as an unsure college student, eventually serving in the Army for more than three decades. Powell, who served as President Reagan’s National Security Advisor, was promoted to the rank of general in 1989, the same year President George H.W. Bush tapped him to become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
After a brief retirement, Powell returned to public service in 2001, when he became the first African American Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. Powell left that position in 2005 and has since devoted himself full-time to his philanthropic and professional work.
Looking back on his decades-long, boundary-shattering career, Powell says that his military background has had a profound impact on his success.