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President Obama and Admiral Stephen RochonAdmiral Stephen Rochon, the first African-American to serve as Chief Usher of the White House, has stepped down from this prominent position within the Obama household. A veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard with a long career of achievement, Rochon will be rejoining the armed forces in a strategic role with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection division of the Department of Homeland Security. Rochon came to the White House as a recruit of George W. Bush, becoming the first black Director of the Executive Residence under his presidency. USA Today reports:

The first African American to hold the post of chief usher, Rochon was responsible for executing all major events at the White House and preserving the nation’s most historic house.

“I am truly delighted to accept this great opportunity to assist the U.S. Customs and Border Protection with developing and implementing a strategic integration program to help protect our U.S. borders,” Rochon said.

He continued: “My past four years as the Director of the Executive Residence and chief usher at the White House has been most rewarding, and I will greatly miss my phenomenal staff, who proudly provides superior service to the president and his first family, but I am humbled and grateful to the president for having the confidence in me to take on this new challenge, and I look forward to returning home to the Department of Homeland Security.”

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Former Chief Usher Admiral Stephen Rochon broke ground at the White House as an African-American in a leading role before President Obama arrived, setting the stage for his family to comfortably reside there as our nation’s pioneering black first family. As the Director of the Executive Residence, Rochon was a co-creator with President and First Lady Obama in events hosted at the White House that entertained thousands – as many as 600,000 people in 2009 alone according to a Politico report on Yahoo News. The logistical acumen required to execute such feats will be put to great use by the admiral at the Department of Homeland Security. We salute Admiral Rochon for his understated, yet effective, brand of African-American leadership. Stephen Rochon is the kind of role model more black youth need to know about. Will you be spreading the word?

Read the rest of the story about this contemporary African-American great on USA Today.

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