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Biographical Details of Leadership
Contemporary Lens on Black Leadership
Historical Focus on Race
Retired Major General Lucius Theus' thirty-six-year career in the U.S. Air Force was dedicated to upgrading military administrative operations, improving race relations and personnel relations in the Armed Forces, and encouraging young people to pursue careers in aviation.
After receiving his ROTC commission at Howard University, Theus' tour of duty plunged him into World War II as a private in the Army Air Corps. The tour of duty included stops in Tuskegee, Germany, France, Greece, and Vietnam and led Theus to command of the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center. Additionally, Theus earned an Assistant Directorship of the Defense Security Assistance Agency.
Theus spent much of his military career developing and implementing administrative systems to improve the life of the average airman and soldier. Programs such as direct deposit for military payrolls and better human relations are prime examples. While assigned to the Pentagon, he chaired the inter-service task force, whose recommendations led to a Department of Defense-wide race relations education and policy. Additionally, Theus worked to establish the forerunner to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.
Theus was the first African American support officer and the third African American to be appointed general in the U.S. Air Force. A native of Tennessee, Theus holds degrees from the University of Maryland and George Washington University. He was also the first African American to attend the Harvard Business Schools Advanced Management Program. Theus has been named to both the Enlisted Men's Hall of Fame and the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame. Additionally, he served as president of U.S. Associates and director of WGI Consulting and Training. Theus passed away in 2007.