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Procurement of Black Army Officers is in Trouble

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Journal article

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Since 1922, when Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduated 23 black individuals who were commissioned from their Reserve Officers Training Corps ROTC program, predominantly black institutions have been the principal source of black commissioned officers for the US Army, and they continue to be so even today. Within the next 10 to 20 years, that trend may change because of the possible dissolution of a substantial number of traditionally black public colleges and universities, primarily because of desegregation. The Civil Rights Act of 1964-particularly Title IV, dealing with higher education-was originally designed to insure that blacks and other minorities were afforded an opportunity to attend, teach, and administer at institutions of their own choice, without regard to racial or other artificially designed restrictions. 2 The purpose was to desegregate, or integrate, educational institutions whose past policies, overtly or covertly, were to exclude minorities. To a large extent, this is well underway at institutions throughout this country. However, other events including lawsuits court decisions budget limitations court-ordered affirmative action plans and Department of Health, Education, and Welfare guidelines for desegregation have created a dilemma which bodes ill for the continued existence of historically black public institutions as desegregation is accomplished at their expense. The scenario has been established, and the tone is grim. Because of the plan for the gradual assimilation or elimination, survival of these institutions is likely to be the exception rather than the rule. When this assimilation occurs, it will have an adverse effect on the number of blacks being commissioned as officers in the Army and on the Armys Affirmative Actions Program.

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  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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