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Name: Gravett, Peter
Current Position: Former Secretary

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and raised in San Pedro, California, Peter Gravett was the son of one of the Tuskegee Airmen, the legendary African-American aviators who served in World War II.

Gravett earned an undergraduate degree in criminology from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He earned executive diplomas from the University of Virginia and from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Gravett is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and the FBI National Academy.

Gravett, 69, worked for more than 22 years with the Los Angeles Police Department as a uniformed officer in investigations and in support services. He was awarded the LAPD's Medal of Valor for saving the life of a teenage boy who had been attacked by a mob outside the L.A. Coliseum. Gravett also spent more than 40 years in the U.S. Army and the California National Guard.

While with the Guard, Gravett’s commands included company, battalion and brigade levels. He was an assistant division commander from 1996, when he was promoted to brigadier general, to 1999. Gravett served as commanding general of the 40th Infantry Division from 1999-2002.

He retired as a major general, having become the first African-American to become a division commander in the Guard’s 225-year history.

Gravett was selected by the assistant secretary of defense in 2006 to be the state chair for the Southern California Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Committee. He served until 2009.

Governor Jerry Brown appointed Gravett, a Republican, to be secretary of CalVet on April 29, 2011. He retired in December 2014. The position requires state Senate confirmation and compensation is $175,000 annually.

Secretary (CalVet website)

Brown Names New Veterans Chief (by Aaron Glantz, Bay Citizen Guardian)

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