In spite of adversity and limited opportunities, African Americans have played a significant role in U.S. Military history over the past 300 years. As a clear example, after the death of President Roosevelt on 12 April 1945, the U.S. Army Air Force arrested 101 African American pilots, navigators, and bombardiers for disobeying an order given directly from a superior officer. These officers risked their lives by not signing an order to place them in segregation housing. The officers were flown to Ft. Knox and placed under arrest. "These 101 officers, and what happened to them, personify the near schizophrenic struggle for civil and human rights in a democracy during the struggle for survival in defense of democracy in a foreign land"(Scott 1). Thousands of African American men volunteered to fight for their freedom with hopes that this would change the national view of African Americans. This reached its high point during WWII. At this time the .
African American community organized around the concept of a double victory-victory at home, as well as victory abroad. .
African American soldiers would be dying for a country that had always treated them badly. Other black Americans showed resentment also, but they also felt that blacks should fight for their country. These conflicts were resolved by the Double V campaign. This campaign was started because of the way that blacks had been treated in the army in the past.
The treatment of blacks in the army goes all the way back to the colonies. Colonial leaders would arm blacks or slaves to fend off attacks by Native Americans but feared that slaves would turn on their masters. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington refused to enlist blacks into the Continental Army. Washington changed his mind when the governor of Virginia offered to free any slaves who fought for the British crown. Efforts to enlist blacks were rejected, but they were used for military construction projects.