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U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant Emily Perez a.k.a. "Kobe" was the first black woman at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to reach the rank of Corps Commander Sergeant Major. She was nicknamed "Kobe" because she "always made the shots" according to family and friends. A 2005 graduate, Perez was fluent in German and a straight "A" student. Perez also served as a star on the Army's 400-meter relay team. Her first assignment after graduation was convoy leader as a Medical Service Corps Operator in Iraq. She was assigned to the 204th Support Battalion of the first Infantry Division.

Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Perez was no stranger to the military. She carried aspirations of attending the academy after high school. She opted to use her free time to volunteer at the American Red Cross in Alexandria, VA then with her local church to educate people in the community about HIV/AIDS when family members were diagnosed.

In September 2006, Perez' Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb. She wasn't supposed to drive that day, but told a subordinate he wasn't ready to lead the convoy. She was not required to take the lead, but opted for command. The other soldiers in the vehicle suffered minor injuries while another lost his legs. Perez did not survive.

Her legacy is left with a street in Iraq called "Emily's Way."

Since her passing, Emily's parents, David and Vicki Perez started the Emily Perez Foundation in their daughter's honor.

Perez was the first black female graduate of West Point to perish and the 64th woman to be killed in Iraq.


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9 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: Emily Perez

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  2. cm20 on said:

    Another Little Known Black History Fact: Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman who wrote in a paper in the 19th century ” A race of people can’t be truly free if their freedom and economic stability is based on the thoughts, actions,and feelings of another race “. What? I could only wonder if any of our so called leaders ever read this statement. We have not moved far. Assimilation a trick.
    PS. @ truthforamerica :That book you wrote means nothing to Black men and women who truly know where they are at. White unemployment 7% Black unemployment 14% do you know where you are at Frederick Douglass was right.

  3. glider4035 on said:

    This may be historically interesting but does not reflect today’s reality. No one I know is completely enamored with the Democrat party but I think many of us simply regard it as the lesser of two evils. Personally I am not interested in labels but only of actions. Whether you call yourself Democrat or Republican only outlines some general beliefs. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was opposed by many southern democrats because it outlawed the disenfranchisement of black voters. More than 45 years later we have southern republicans trying to find ways to once again reinstate laws that disenfranchise black and Hispanic voters. The names may change but not the people behind the policies.

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