He completed Recruiters School at Parris Island in July 1953, and was assigned as the Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge, Recruiting Substation, Allentown, Pennsylvania.
A high school graduate of Findley High School in 1947, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on April 12, 1948 and underwent recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. He was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina after completing boot camp and served with Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, and later, with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. Ordered to of Korea in 1950, Black joined Company H, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division as the commanding officer"s driver.
As a private first class, he was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star for heroic actions.
Black served as a Platoon Commander of a heavy machine gun platoon with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division in the Western Pacific area from August 1956 to November 1957 when he was ordered to Parris Island to attend Drill Instructor School. Upon completion of the course, he served consecutively as a junior drill instructor, a senior drill instructor, and finally, as a chief drill instructor in the Recruit Training Regiment.
In August 1960 he was transferred to Wheeling, West Virginia, where he served as Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge of the Recruiting Substation for the next four years. He served as a Company First Sergeant with Company Doctorate, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division from August 1964 to November 1965, and landed with the Marines sent to the Dominican Republic during that period.
Ordered to Vietnam in January 1966, Sergeant Major Black served as First Sergeant of Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division until February 1967.
He was then assigned as First Sergeant of Casual Company, and later, as Sergeant Major, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico. Sergeant Major Black began his second Vietnam tour in June 1969, serving as Sergeant Major of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He was awarded his second and third during his tour.
Returning to the States in April 1970, he was assigned as Sergeant Major of the Recruiting Station in Richmond, Virginia.
He remained in that billet until August 1972, when he was transferred to Bremerton, Washington, as Sergeant Major of the Marine Barracks there. Sergeant Major Black was ordered to Iwakuni, Japan, in November 1973, as Sergeant Major of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing until November 1974, when he returned to the Marine Corps Development and Education Command as Sergeant Major of that command until his selection as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.
Black assumed the post of 7th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps on June 1, 1975. He died at his home in Fredericksburg, Virginia on August 24, 2012.
He returned to the States in May 1951, and was assigned a member of the security force at Marine Barracks, Dahlgren, Virginia.