Notwithstanding the extremely low number of blacks in special forces, there are as yet no racial quotas

Continuing from the previous entry on SEALs and diversity, here is the key information on the numbers of blacks in the military’s elite units that Stuff Black People Don’t Like quotes from the San Diego Union-Tribune (the article which has a typical liberal title implying discrimination where there isn’t any, “Closed ranks? Special-operations units have the least racial diversity in military”):

  • The Army Special Forces, known by distinctive green berets, has 234 African-American officers and soldiers in a force of 5,200 men. Blacks make up 4.5 percent of the Green Berets, compared with nearly 24 percent of the male soldiers in the Army.

  • The Navy has only 31 blacks among its 2,299 Sea-Air-Land, or SEAL, commandos, less than 2 percent of the force. African-Americans constitute nearly 17 percent of the male personnel within the Navy.

  • And, the Air Force’ special-tactics groups have only eight blacks in a force of 472 men, less than 2 percent. Servicewide, about 14 percent of the Air Force’ s male personnel are African-American.

Now the overall number of minorities in the special forces is substantially higher than the number of blacks, but we need to remember that the real concern here is with blacks, not other minorities. I quote again from the Union-Tribune:

  • Only 13 percent of the Pentagon’ s highly trained special-operations forces are racial minorities. Of the 8,775 Army, Navy and Air Force commandos, 1,180 are classified as minorities.

  • Less than 15 percent of the Army’s Special Forces and Rangers personnel are soldiers of color, compared with about 40 percent of the entire Army.

  • About 11 percent of Navy SEALs, whose headquarters are in Coronado, are minorities. “We are underrepresented (with minorities) compared to what we’ d like,” acknowledged Rear Adm. Eric Olson, the Navy’ s top SEAL.

  • Eight percent of the Air Force’ special-tactics and para-rescue groups, the military’ s smallest commando force, are minority members.

Another important point that emerges from the Union-Tribune article and the Military Times article which is also quoted at SBPDL is that as yet there have been no quotas. While the efforts to boost the number of blacks in special forces have been substantial, these efforts have been limited to “affirmative action” in the original, narrow sense of that word, that is, outreach to increase black interest in special forces, not a requirement for certain numerical outcomes, and not a lowering of standards. And there seems to be a strong feeling in the military against numerical goals for special forces, despite all the handwringing about the low number of blacks. So it’s possible the racial outreach campaign will go on for years without actually harming the elite units.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 08, 2011 10:12 AM | Send

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