General Colin Luther Powell, United States Army (Ret.) was the 65th United States Secretary of State. He became the fourth highest ranking non-Caucasian government official in the history of the United States. Upon his appointment as Secretary of State, Powell became the highest ranking African-American in the executive branch, and prior to that, was the highest ranking African-American in the military. As a General in the United States Army, Powell also served as National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Along with numerous military badges, awards and decorations, Powell has received two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal, and twice received the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award. He was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. In 2005 he received the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award for his contributions to Africa and AARP honored Powell with the 2006 AARP Andrus Award.