Sample History Research Paper on Charles Frank Bolden Jr.

Charles F. Bolden Jr., born in South Carolina in 1946 is lawfully married to Alexis, with whom he has two children and three legitimate grandchildren. Bolden has typically served America in different capacities as a gallant soldier, astronaut, and NASA’s chief administrator.

Bolden has an excellent academic background. Walton (2000) reveals that Bolden graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland having qualified for the award of a degree in electrical science in 1968. Further (Walton, 2000) discloses that  Bolden went ahead to  advance his education and training by attaining a master’s degree in systems management, an award conferred by the University of Southern California in 1977. Essentially, Bolden acquired extensive skills and competence during his training in the Naval Academy that enabled him to operate military aircrafts during the Vietnam War.

Bolden served as the first African-American administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a key post he held between 2009 and 2017. While in-charge of NASA, he attempted to improve the sophistication of space mission as well as the efficiency of aircrafts and other technology equipment. Lindberg (2018) mentions that Bolden’s stint at NASA led to the introduction International Space Station (ISS) and aeronautics equipment engineering to improve space exploration and research. Bolden also guided the process of developing new space launch systems to move away from the traditional space shuttle adventures.

Bolden also created the first NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate tasked with coming up with new technologies essential for subsequent explorations. In a way, Bolden was successful in his role as an administrator at NASA as he made it possible for the landing of Mars Curiosity Rover critical in helping scientists understand the planet Jupiter (Lindberg, 2018). The successful landing also simplified earth observation tasks by NASA. Moreover, during his tenure as an administrator, Bolden focused on most of NASA’s aeronautics programs that saw the development of faster and quieter space aircraft.

Bolden enjoyed a distinguished career as an astronaut. He was recruited as an astronaut by NASA in 1980 (Walton, 2000).  It is shown that as a NASA astronaut, Bolden managed to fly in four space shuttle operations, representing more than 680 hours of flight in the space (Walton, 2000). Lindberg (2018) remembers Bolden for the active roles he played during the Space Shuttle Columbia, Space Shuttle Discovery and Space Shuttle Atlantis missions that took place between 1986 and 1994. Bolden worked as an astronaut and mission commander in these mission further earning him numerous accolades and recognition.

Bolden invariably has a distinguished military career and notable accomplishments. He actively participated in the Vietnam War as a pilot between 1972 and 1973 upon being commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps (Lindberg, 2018). Bolden was able to operate the fighter and attack aircraft. Upon amply fulfilling his responsibilities as an astronaut in 1994, Bolden served the military in the official capacity as the assistant commandant of midshipmen at the Naval Academy. Consequently, in 1998, Bolden served as the commanding general of the marine expedition popularly known as Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait (Lindberg, 2018). His final stint in the military was when he served as commanding general of the Marine Corps stationed in Miramar, California before he eventually retired from the Marine Corps.

Bolden is listed as an active member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity because of his military accomplishments. He has performed a significant role in mentoring aspiring astronauts and soldiers. The honorable service of Bolden in the Marine Corps is celebrated globally. He currently serves as a space envoy for the United States Department of State science in addition to managing his own company called Bolden Consulting Group. The company actively focuses on aerospace activities, national security, leadership, and space education.



Lindberg, E. (2018). Astronaut and NASA leader Charles F. Bolden Jr. rejoins USC Board of Trustees. USC News. Retrieved from

Walton, D. (2000). Overcoming challenges: The life of Charles F. Bolden Jr. Austin, Tex: Steck-Vaughn Co.