The Army reports that only 10 percent of its active-duty officers are black, which has contributed to its dearth of black officers leading soldiers with occupational specialties in infantry, armor and artillery.This tension is the inevitable result of post-Enlightenment "blank slate" theory running smack into reality, a reality formed when genetically diverse creatures, raised in culturally diverse environments, achieve in a divergent manner. The pleasant fiction of strict equality between the various human races has been shown to be just that, and the challenge now will be to determine how diverse groups can coexist peacefully in "togetherheid" in light of the resultant diversity of outcomes and distribution of goods.
"It certainly is a problem for several reasons," Col. Irving Smith, director of sociology at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, told USA Today. "First we are a public institution. And as a public institution we certainly have more of a responsibility to our nation than a private company to reflect it. In order to maintain their trust and confidence, the people of America need to know that the Army is not only effective but representative
USA Today's research found that 25 relevant brigades it looked at did not have a single black commander in 2014. For 2015, the paper reported that there will be two black commanders of combat brigades.
Capt. Grancis Santana, 33, spoke to the paper and asserted that it wasn't discrimination that was causing a lack of minority officers in key posts - the supply of desired soldiers in his military occupational specialty simply
wasn't there. "There was no discrimination; there are just not a lot of people like you."
The paper also noted that of the 238 West Point graduates commissioned to be infantry officers in 2012, only seven were black. One of the Army's plans for addressing the issue will be to put more emphasis on recruiting and
mentoring minority officers.
There are certain pressure groups for whom MLK's dream is dead. Like all good Marxists, these groups feel free to judge not by the content of one's character but instead by the pallor (or not) of their skin or the equipment between someone's legs--all while blaming the designated Oppressor Class for the numerous inequalities that inevitably result when unequal beings apply their various talents in the real world. These pressure groups want equality of outcome (or better), and call for race- (or sex-) based head counting as the corrective. Competency, performance, or in this case, combat effectiveness, is no longer the relevant metric for them. Troublingly, the national leadership appears to be slowly bowing to this pressure, and increasingly demonstrates ever more willingness to trade battlefield effectiveness in exchange for domestic social peace.
This is a a dubious strategy at best, given the many historical lessons that teach that appeasing an aggressor only invites more belligerence, not less.
PS - this is also an example of the apex fallacy, as applied to race and ethnicity. Among the many reasons why there are so many whites in leadership positions is that there are more whites in the Combat Arms in general. Trigger pullers are overwhelmingly white--and also suffer disproportionately more casualties. So just as the Glass Ceiling comes with a Glass Floor, command and leadership carries with it flag-draped coffins.