Lawmakers: Military Falling Behind on Diversity

Rick Maze, Marine Times, March 6, 2012

Efforts to make the military more diverse are not completely working, lawmakers say.

Race-based hazing and abuse continue, minorities remain underrepresented in senior ranks and the services have yet to fully implement recommendations made a year ago by a commission appointed to resolve some of these problems.

“We can and must do better for our men and women in uniform, no matter their background,” said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., the aunt of Marine Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, who committed suicide in Afghanistan almost a year ago after allegedly suffering more than three hours of physical harassment at the hands of fellow Marines.


At a Tuesday forum sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, Asian Pacific Caucus and Hispanic Caucus, a retired Air Force general who headed a congressionally mandated study on minorities in the military said that of 20 recommendations made one year ago, only four have been fully implemented.


“Thing are beginning to happen, but not at the pace some of us would like to see,” said retired Gen. Lester Lyles, the former Air Force vice chief of staff who headed the Military Leadership Diversity Committee that issued its final report in March 2011.

The most progress, Lyles said, has been in the commitment of military leaders to diversity and inclusion. “I cannot personally say I sense any push-back at all,” he said.

His biggest concern is the slow pace. “We need to institutionalize recommendations . . . not study them or look how we might do it, because we might lose momentum.”


For example, there are a few more women and minorities in senior ranks, he said, including two female four-star generals and four African American four-stars.


“Much more needs to be done,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who headed the tri-caucus forum.


“In the Air Force, for example, the number of African American and Hispanic officers has continued to decrease over the past several years,” he said. “Although African Americans and Hispanics now make up about 27 percent of the U.S. population, they make up only 13 percent of active-duty officers in the armed services.”


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  • When it comes to the pinch- they’re chickens.

  • libertarian4339

    “………..minorities remain underrepresented in senior ranks”

    Thank God for small favors.  All the military needs now is some AA black in a position to make plans for defense and attack,  especially since I seriously doubt if there is more than a wee handful who have I.Q.’s above about 110.

    But it’s really a moot point, because blacks are being shifted into positions right now based on color, of course, since they’re unqualified for any level much above the rank of sergeant, and there’s not many who truly qualify for that rank.

    I think I would be accurate if I said that most all blacks are delusional with a few exceptions.  By that, I mean most of them feel as if the black rank and file with a group average I.Q. of 85 can fit right into any position available.  Arrogance plays a big part in their mental make-up as well.

    I think arrogant with delusional fantasies just about sums up the black population overall.  If those truths are counted as irrefutable,  it avoids wasting time on giving examples, like test scores, performance, etc.

    • Race has played  a role in promotions for decades. Its telling when despite the AA they cant get by on minimal merit.

  • bubo

    “Much more needs to be done,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings

    That statement will be imprinted on America’s tombstone.  

  • “For example, there are a few more women and minorities in senior ranks, he said, including two female four-star generals…”

    Good Lord!  In the entire history of the US Army there have only been about 220 or so Four Star Generals (General).  From 1776 to 1917 there were only 4 Generals of the US Army, including Washington and the Civil War Generals.  Now we have two women as Generals.  What in the hell did they achieve to stand facing a Washington, Pershing or MacArthur as equals?  And George Patton would have to salute them as superior officers?  There is a growing upset in my stomach these days that just wont go away.

  • I retired because I was fed up with covering for idiot blacks in positions far beyond their intelligence level. No one in the military can tell you why diversity is good, they can tell you they need it but can’t tell you why or what the benefit is.

    • Amen Orville! I’m still in and I can tell you from first-hand experience that it gets worse with the passing of time.

  • MikeofAges

    “Although African Americans and Hispanics now make up about 27 percent
    of the U.S. population, they make up only 13 percent of active-duty
    officers in the armed services.”

    Considering all the socioeconomic problems, the education gap, lack of citizenship within the Hispanic population, and the numbers of young men incarcerated or with serious convictions, 13 percent minority officers is a good record. Hopefully, most of them got there at least minimally by merit. You don’t have to a brilliant to be an officer, but you do need some poise, social polish and some degree of intelligence. If we have achieved 13 percent, that sounds like equal opportunity to me. If you can convince more who are qualified to volunteer for officer service, go ahead. But the ball is their court. The military offers equal opportunity. More than, most of the time.

  • JackKrak

    Just once, I’d like to hear about a report that tells us that the “diversity goals” of a certain agency (always government, of course) have been met or exceeded. We all know that there are any number of local, county, state and federal agencies that have comically high numbers of “minorities” on the payroll – but that’s not news. But God forbid if the Air Force weather station in Greenland doesn’t have exactly 17.6% blacks among its junior officers or there’s hell to pay.

  •  This has some resemblance to 1930s in the USSR. Stalin purged/killed virtually all capable generals & marshals (Tukhachevsky, Bliuher,..) and installed political figures – loyal & dumb (Kulik, Budyonniy, ..). When the Germans attacked in 1941., it was complete disaster for Red Army, USSR and, most for common people and ordinary soldiers (3 million Soviet POWs died in Nazi concentration camps).

    At the brink of total collapse, “the greatest genius in the history of mankind & leader of progressive humanity” was forced to let professional and self-reliant generals & marshals (Zhukov, Vasilevsky, Konev,..) to wage & win the war.

    Needless to say, millions of lives have been lost due to incompetent military leadership – ideologues, not professionals.

  • The_Bobster

    Halliburton is contracted to do that now.

  • Zorro

    White men and women need to stand down. Let the blacks defend our country. They are better at it, or so they tell us.

    Look for more helicopters that finally get off the ground, to crash into the side of a mountain, or tall building, because of the pilot’s incompetence.

    More Ships will be running aground, or crashing into other vessels at sea. And you thought the Three Stooges were bad at running things? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

  • Zorro

    Refrom Big Government. I love to hear this. However, most people around the country have failed thus far to vote for the ONE Presidential Canadidate who actually would do just that: Ron Paul.

    So, they want Reform, but don’t want to vote for the guy who will give it to them. This is simply unbelievable.   

  • Yes you are correct if relating to a five-star which it does read that way, I would have been clearer if I stated the four-star as full general but only a few of us would have known what that meant.  The proper term as my old ROTC instructor taught us in that first semester is just general.  Anyway, that being said, the issue of tossing out stars to just anyone as proof of diversity will likely come to an end with a real war.  That is why the most black ops, the airborne, rangers, green berets and other operators remain mostly white.  The few others in these units that are of color might as well be white, they think, dress, act, and stick close to whites.  Of course, they are a rarity.

  • And you must know how disgustingly high is the pregnancy rate of female sailors coming off of a tour.  This is affecting our operational effectiveness to the point where it has become a matter of national securtiy.  Of course, it would only matter to those that would be loyal to this country.  Interestly, this is one of the salient points of Gibbon in his, “The Decline and Fall…”, that is the hiring of foreign mercenaries to man the armies of Rome.  Homosexuality was another.

  • Gyst53

    Wars are not fought by any effective military group with quotas being fulfilled.
    We need the best, the brightest, with the best technology …. not the most diverse and segmented ethnic PC group. If you can prove your competence….then and only then, should you be qualified and appointed to the leadership position the rank demands!