Cunningham C. Bryant – Major General, United States Army


Cunningham C. Bryant, 81, a Major General who led the D.C. Army National Guard from 1974 to 1981 and was its first black commander, died of a heart attack July 29, 2003, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He lived in Washington.

General Bryant was Adjutant General of the guard and chief of its operations and training branch before his nomination to head the Washington district.

He was born in Clifton. After graduating from Washington's Cardozo High School, he attended Howard University, where he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps.

He was called to active Army duty in 1943.

He served in Italy during World War II as an infantry platoon leader and company commander in an engineer combat battalion.

His honors from the war included a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

He was assigned to Italy after the war. He left the Army in 1949 and worked for the Post Office Department.

He joined the National Guard in 1954 as an operations and training officer and went on full-time duty with the guard in 1957.

He attended the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.

His honors included the Distinguished Service medals of the Army and National Guard, the Legion of Merit and two Army Commendation medals.

He was inducted into the Army Infantry School Hall of Fame in 1981.

General Bryant was a member of a number of National Guard and military associations and was on the executive councils of the Adjutants General Association and National Guard Association. He also belonged to the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade, Big Brothers and the D.C. Armory Board.

He was chairman of the parish council, president of the men's organization and a member of the vestry at Calvary Episcopal Church in Washington. He was a director of the D.C. Striders and Pigskin Club and secretary of the Bachelor-Benedict Club of Washington. He was president of the Blagden Terrace Neighborhood Council and a member of the Rock Creek East Neighborhood League.

Survivors include his wife, Hyacinth Bryant of Washington; three children, Candice and Gregory Bryant, both of Washington, and Beverly Nelson of Chevy Chase; a sister, Juanita Mitchell of Washington; and three grandchildren.


On Tuesday, July 29, 2003. Loving husband of Hyacinth B. Bryant; devoted father of Candice C. and Gregory B. (Bertie) Bryant and Beverly G. (Frank) Nelson; beloved grandfather of Kerri Rose and Frank H. Nelson Jr. and Stephen S. Bryant. He is also survived by one sister, Juanita B. Mitchell; two nieces, Jacklyn and Janice, one nephew, Samuel, other relatives and friends.

The late Major General Bryant will lie in state at Calvary Episcopal Church, 821 6th St. N.E. on Thursday, September 4, from 9 a.m. until funeral services at 10 a.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery.

The family suggests contributions be made in the name of Major General Bryant to Calvary Episcopal Church Building Fund or Cardoza Class of 1940 Scholarship Fund, c/o William Mason, 4229 19th St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20018.


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