On June 6, 1950, Frank Petersen enlisted in the Navy. At the age of 20, he was the first Afro-American to be named a naval aviator in the Marine Corp. He was also the first African American to command a fighter squadon, a fighter air group, an air wing, and a major base.
Lt. Gen. Frank. Petersen, was considered by his friends to be a leader and a gentleman in his affairs.