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Powell, GEN Colin
Arms: Azure two swords in saltire points downwards between four mullets argent, on a chief argent a lion passant gules.

SOURCES, NOTES & CREDITS: The illustration for background, the blazon and the text is based on, and adapted from, information supplied Peter Drumond-Murray’s article, page 18, “The Double Tressure”, 2004, and from the Wikipedia internet article.

General Colin Luther Powell, KCB was born in 1937 in Haarlem, NY, his parents were Luther and Maud Powell who immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. He graduated from the City College of New York (CCNY), where he participated in the ROTC program and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in June 1958.

A career Army officer, he served for 35 years rising to the rank of Four Star General.
In his first tour of Vietnam he was wounded. During his second tour in Vietnam he was decorated with the Soldiers Medal for bravery after he survived a helicopter crash and single-handedly rescued three others, including the division commander from the burning wreckage.
In 1975–1976 he attended the National War College (NWC), Washington, D.C. The NWC is for those officers destined for much higher rank, usually as a general officer.
During 1976–1977 he commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division.
During the early to mid-1980s he served in staff & political advisory positions.
In 1987, at the age of 49, Powell became President Ronald Reagan's National Security Advisor, serving to 1989 while retaining his Army commission as a lieutenant general.
In his final military assignment he served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993. He was the first African-American to serve in this position. During his tenure as Chairman consideration was given to giving Powell a fifth star, but President Clinton, V. Pres. Gore and their staffers decided against this.

In retirement he served as an informal advisor to political biggies and was even considered presidential material. He backed President George Bush and in 2001
President Bush appointed Powell Secretary of State where he served from 2001 to 2005.

General Powell has been awarded numerous decorations and medals.

Of his many military decorations, he received The Soldiers Medal which is awarded for personal valor at the risk of one’s one life not in combat and the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in action; and for civilian decorations Powell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice, first in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush and a second time by President Clinton but this time 'With Distinction' in 1993. Among his foreign awards he was created an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) by Queen Elizabeth II, it is believed for his role in the First Gulf War, and the Grand Cordon of the Legion of Honor from France.

Now to the heraldic part: Early in the reign of Lord Lyon Blair say around 2001-2002 General Powell petitioned the Court of the Lord Lyon for arms in the memory of his father Luther Powell born in 1898 in Jamaica, a subject of Queen Victoria. In due course a warrant was issued on 4 Feb 2004. In Sep. 2004 Lyon Blair came to the US to Washingtom, D.C. to present General Powell with his Letters Patent which conferred arms on him, his descendants and other descendants of his father. The presentation took place at the Department of State in the Office of the Secretary as Powell was then Secretary of State. Attending Lyon Blair for the presentation to General Powell were two members of the Society of Scottish Armigers (SSA): Donald Draper Campbell with his wife Beth and the late David Garrison.

The swords are a reference to Powell’s military career and the four mullets refer to his four stars of a full general.

The artwork is a rendition of John Hamilton Gaylor

2019 0219

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