Clemon H. Terrell enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1950 as a steward. He would make the officers' beds and shine their shoes, among other duties. Due to segregation, there were limited opportunities for advancement. This week, 34 years following his retirement from the service, Terrell was promoted to honorary Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer.
"I was ecstatic. Being promoted to Chief Petty Officer is a prestigious promotion," he said, adding that the the Chief Petty Officer has the respect of everyone "from the Admiral on down."