Does The U.S. Military Have A Diversity Problem?

In 2015, the US Army expanded a program that allows immigrants with useful military skills to enlist – in order to fast track their US citizenship The program is intended to raise the number of such service members from a hard cap of 1,500 per year to 5,000 through 2016

The decision to include foreign nationals with skills such as translation and medical support, points to the growing pool of potential applicants the military is willing to field It also encourages increased diversity within the armed forces So, how diverse is the United States military really? Well, over the past two decades, racial inclusion and greater opportunities for minorities has shown to have a profound impact on US military demographics Since 1995, the total number of minority service members has risen from about 25% to roughly 31% in 2014 However, most tellingly, the percentage of minorities in higher ranking positions has more than doubled in percentage

This suggests a change in what used to be 90% white leadership roles Today, officers demographics are much more reflective of the total population; however, whites are still slightly overrepresented and minorities are slightly underrepresented Among active duty personnel, however, this under and over representation is reversed Only about 70% of personnel are white, with roughly 17% African American Moreover, within the Army and Marine Corps, the percentage of minorities has actually fallen since 1995, despite rising within the Department of Defense as a whole

Interestingly, the US military has struggled to reflect the changing role of women in society In 1973, after ending the all-male military draft, the number of women in enlisted ranks jumped from one in fifty to about one in seven However, over the past decade, the proportion of women has risen barely half a percent between 2000 and 2012 Of the different branches, the Air Force has the greatest ratio of recruits, with roughly a fifth of their ranks comprised of women In contrast, the Marine Corps has the lowest female representation, comprising only about a tenth of its members

There is also a larger proportion of African American women than men within the ranks; And, women in general, are less likely to have served in combat roles – although they are just as likely to be officers Now there is a stereotype that military service is utilized by people from lower income backgrounds However, recruitment estimates from the mid-2000s found that a majority came from middle and upper-middle income regions In fact, lower income applicants were considerably underrepresented Out of over 1

3 million active duty military personnel, those who want to serve have been slowly lining up with the country’s demographics As minorities and immigrants see huge strides within American society, they also see higher rates of military membership However, limits on types of service – for example the exclusion of women from combat roles before 2013 – has likely kept the proportion artificially low As further discriminatory barriers are lowered, so will the racial and gender disparity The U

S military is often regarded as one of the world’s most powerful But what other world militaries come out on top? Learn more in our video Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more TestTube News videos every day

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