Lt. Gen. Colin Powell, who sources say will replace Frank Carlucci as President Reagan's national security adviser, is a career Army officer and one of the service's highest-ranking blacks. Already the top-ranking black on the White House staff, Mr. Powell also would be the first black to become national security adviser.
He has been Mr. Carlucci's deputy since January, and earlier had been the top military aide to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger for three years. He was in command of the United States Army's 5th Corps in West Germany before being called back to the US to serve Carlucci.
Defense Department sources quoted last year said Powell was one of at least five men within the Pentagon who knew arms were being transferred to the Central Intelligence Agency, which in turn arranged for their shipment to Iran.
Powell and his wife, Alma, have three children. Powell attended the City College of New York, earning his bachelor's degree. Powell continued his education, receiving a master's degree in business administration from George Washington University in 1971, and was at the National War College from 1975-76.