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View Diary: 60 troops fired after military record checks turn up sexual assault, other convictions (183 comments)

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  •  If you're going to lecture someone... (2+ / 0-)
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    elginblt, LilithGardener least get your facts straight. The military was not fully integrated by 1948. It took decades before that actually happened. All of my uncles served during Vietnam, and two of them served in a whites-only unit.

    Speaking as someone who has actually served, in no way is the military a beacon of progress. It is true that big racial changes began in the military, both with Truman and with Lincoln. However the racial tensions and just outright racism I witnessed while I served were worse in the military than anywhere else I've ever lived. And I currently live in the South.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 03:53:54 AM PDT

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    •  Name them (0+ / 0-)

      Name the units.  If they were in a unit with whites only it was because of they disproportionate number of African Americans in supply/support units and not by policy.  Prior to 1948 minorities were relegated to support units and it took time before they were fully represented across the Army.  On the other hand if your uncles served in the Guard and happened to be from the South it is entirely possible that they were in white only units but that was the fault of the Governor, not the military.  

      Speaking as someone who IS serving and HAS BEEN serving for close to 3 decades I will agree that I have seen ugly racism in the military.  Name the group and I have seen racism against them.  But the military remains the ONLY large institution in this country where African Americans routinely supervise Caucasians.  We are the ONLY large institution in the nation that has 100% equal pay by race and gender.  

      We are the ONLY large institution in this country that provides social mobility.  How many lower middle class black kids from the South Bronx become Secretary of State?  Yeah, just one.  And dont kid yourself - If Colin Powell isnt a war time Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, on TV every day as the face of the military in 1990 he doesnt become SecState.  And if he doesnt become SecState Barrack Obama doent become President.  You know why Colin Powell was the most senior military officer 20 years before Barrack Obama was President?  Because the military started 15 years before the rest of the country.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 09:02:17 AM PDT

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      •  You're not right with that either (1+ / 0-)
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        I meant to add last night that, actually, the civilian sector of the federal government in Washington D.C. had actually integrated decades before the military. However, President Wilson reinstated segregation as soon as he got into office.

        As for my the units my uncles were in, I have no idea. Like many old combat veterans, they refuse to even talk about their service much. I only know the two who did had actually voluntarily enlisted into the marines, whereas my other older uncles who were in integrated unites were drafted into the army. It's been pretty widely acknowledged that the marines did drag their feet when it came to integration compared to the other branches.

        And as for equal pay despite race, just because you can name a token black person who made it to Joint Chiefs doesn't mean that work and pay is equalized in the military. People of color are still very much disproportionately assigned to lesser jobs compared to white people, and the number of officers who are people of color is ridiculously low, especially once you get past captain.When I was in the military, I never even saw a black officer higher than the rank of captain, and only saw one black captain.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 11:39:04 AM PDT

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        •  We have hard numbers on this stuff... (0+ / 0-)

          DoD publishes a demographics report every year.  (PDF of the 2012 report available here)

          Active Duty, Black or African American:

          * Army: 21.8% of enlisted, 13.6% of officers
          * Navy: 19.4% of enlisted, 8.1% of officers
          * Marines: 10.9% of enlisted, 5.6% of officers
          * Air Force: 16.5% of enlisted, 5.7% of officers
          * Overall: 18.4% of enlisted, 9.5% of officers

          I think it's important to remember that this is a volunteer force, so it's an unpredictable balance from the outset.

          Ratio of all minority officers to minority enlisted:

          * Army: 1 to 5.4
          * Navy: 1 to 11.0
          * Marines: 1 to 9.1
          * Air Force: 1 to 5.6
          * Overall: 1 to 6.8

          Minority percentages by pay grade, Army:

          E1-E4: 25.9% minority
          E5-E6: 35.0% minority
          E7-E9: 47.4% minority
          W1-W5: 36.0% minority
          O1-O3: 27.3% minority
          O4-O6: 23.9% minority
          O7-O10: 12.4% minority

          Now, what about trends?  Well, since 1995 the Army has almost doubled the percentage of minority officers, from 14.6% to 27.6%, even as the enlisted minority percentage is trending downward, from a peak of 45.1% in 2000 to 31.4% in 2011.

          There are many, many factors at work here, but I don't think your "token" argument is justified.  Check the link for all the numbers you'd ever want to crunch...

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 03:00:52 PM PDT

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