Oakland, Calif. – Montford Point Marines Sgt. Riley A. McCray and Cpl. Lynn L. Williams are presented with the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony here Sept. 21. The pair earned the award by presidential order for being a few of the 20,000 African-American Marines to serve in the Corps between 1942 and 1949 during a time of common racism and segregation. During this time in the Marine Corps, African-American Marines were not trained at the traditional Marine Corps boot camps, but were segregated and trained at Montford Point, N.C. The “Montford Point Marines” would serve in some of the most critical battles of our nations history and continue to serve their country and communities throught their lives. On June 27, 2012 Congress conferred our nation’s highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal on the Montford Point Marines and the Commandant of the Marine Corps directed each living member receive recognition in a ceremony.