The Black Community Perspective: Recruiting Blacks into Combat Arms
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Executive Order 9981 in 1948, eliminated discrimination in the U.S. military, President Truman envisioned armed forces that would extend opportunity to all persons. Today the Army is striving to maintain this vision by recruiting and retaining an organization reflective of the countrys diverse population. However, Black officers are underrepresented in the combat arms specifically in the Infantry, Armor, and Field Artillery branches. This underrepresentation can be termed occupational segregation. Blacks nonparticipation in these career paths decreases the diversity in these branches and makes it difficult for Blacks to attain appropriate representation among general officers, as more than 59 of the Armys generals are selected from the combat arms. This research study reviews relevant data and discusses reasons for the racial imbalance in Combat Arms branches. It also summarizes a qualitative research study involving interviews of ten African-American leaders in Louisville, Kentucky. The interviews were designed to obtain information about how the Army is viewed in Black communities and on how the Army could address the recruiting and branching challenges that it faces as it seeks to develop a more diverse leadership.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations