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Is the military leadership “to white and to male?” Diversity gone wild …

Welcome to the new military – an affirmative action organization, that is if a certain panel gets its way:

The U.S. military is too white and too male at the top and needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat, an independent report for Congress said Monday.

Seventy-seven percent of senior officers in the active-duty military are white, while only 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women, the report by an independent panel said, quoting data from September 2008.


Is it working?

I think an unqualified “yes” is the answer. 

We sort of have to stop and talk about some basic things when we see a report like this.  And the first is “what is the purpose of the military – diversity or victory”?  Playing this sort of numbers game is stupid in an all volunteer force which has the job of defending the country.  We’re not talking the university campus or some corporate board.

What you want is the best leaders to rise to the top.  That isn’t to say that always happens, but to pretend that there’s an “acceptable” mix of ethnicity, race and gender that will optimize that leadership and improve the military is simply silly.

I object to this report not because it says we should allow women to serve in combat units – that’s an entirely different argument.  I object to it because of the stupidity of the premise that diversity is more important than effectiveness, especially in military matters.

The report ordered by Congress in 2009 calls for greater diversity in the military’s leadership so it will better reflect the racial, ethnic and gender mix in the armed forces and in American society.

It isn’t the job of a military to “reflect [the] racial, ethnic and gender mix” of the nation in its leadership. Its job is to field the best military and military leadership it can, close with and destroy enemies of the US and protect and defend its citizens and way of life.   So it must reflect the best leadership available for the job REGARDLESS of race, ethnicity or gender.  On its face the report’s premise is just silly.  Women make up how much of the society in general?  50+%?

So in the name of diversity, given the panel’s statements,  50+% of the leadership in the Armed Forces should be women, regardless of their abilities or capacity to lead in combat?

That’s simply nonsense on a stick.  The military is and must remain a meritocracy.  And while I know that the very best don’t always rise to the top, a good enough portion of them do. And, shock of shocks, it all somehow works.  That’s what we want to encourage and continue REGARDLESS of race, ethnicity or gender.

Playing diversity games just to have pleasing numbers in “leadership” is nonsense, especially if there is no real need for it. 

Having military brass that better mirrors the nation can inspire future recruits and help create trust among the general population, the commission said.

Even more nonsense.  Having a military that they can depend on to kick an enemy’s rear effectively, quickly and efficiently is what will and does create “trust among the general population”.  And by the way, even with 10 years of war the military isn’t having any problem attracting or inspiring recruits with the leadership is has today.

Here’s a little thought provoker for you.  You own an NBA team.  Some independent panel asks:  “Is the NBA to black and to male”? 

You bet it is. 

So, what is the purpose of an NBA team?  To win basketball games and thereby put fans in the stands and make money. 

But in the the name of diversity, you require your team to reflect the race, ethnicity and gender numbers in the nation (other owners -liken them to other countries, like our enemies – refuse to go along with that nonsense).  Someone tell me how many games that team (remember it can only be 14% black and has to be 50% female) is going to win the next season, even though it will reflect America?

Any questions?



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56 Responses to Is the military leadership “to white and to male?” Diversity gone wild …

  • We are on a glide-path to suicide if we let this BS continue.
    PC kills.

    • Glide?  Glide?  There’s no glide here – the throttles are jammed on afterburner, the nose is down and the flaps are up.

  • Whites, and white males in particular, haven’t suffered enough, ask Eric Holder.

  • There is no organization, agency or group on the face of the Earth that can remove itself from the reach of the Politically Correct Police (note: otherwise known as PCP).

    And, as with every rule, there is an exception.  That one exception is the organization that has set itself up as the PCP.

  • Are we to sprinkle in a proportionate number of traitors and enemy combatants ?

  • God help us if this continues. So, what’s going to happen if a “diverse” commander is killed by friendly fire? Will there be charges of racism or sexism?

  • So?
    Is it working?
    I think an unqualified “yes” is the answer. 
    We sort of have to stop and talk about some basic things when we see a report like this.  And the first is “what is the purpose of the military – diversity or victory”?

    I believe many of us made similar arguments duing the DADT debate on this forum. 

    • Yup, but the argument wasn’t about diversity for diversity’s sake. And, after hundreds of years of operating quite well without DADT, it was imposed on the military in the ’90s. So the argument was also the same before DADT. It worked and most people in the military didn’t give a rip one way or the other if someone was gay. For the most part, still don’t.

      • Please, McQ…!!!  You just cannot ignore the combat arms…try as you certainly HAVE.
        DADT was working VERY well, with homosexuals serving out entire careers without ANY discrimination.

        • And they were doing it before DADT and no one cared.

          This isn’t a different side of the same coin, folks.


          • So you are saying before DADT there was no sanction in the military for homosexual conduct???

          • It was discretionary. I was not forced to kick someone out just because we “discovered” he or she was gay. How do you think gays served “honorably” for an entire careers Rags? Because everyone along the line felt their soldiering was more important than who they loved.

            And like anything else, if the gay person was a ragbag, homosexuality was as good a reason as any to board ’em. Kinda like getting Al Capone on tax evasion.

          • In your opinion because if it is the other side, well, that renders your current argument moot.

            I see it as the same slope….both stem from points of view having to do much less with military effectiveness than for other, non military reasons.

          • Well the same can be said of your argument, can’t it – if it isn’t a different side then it renders your argument moot as well, doesn’t it?

            Of course you see it as the same slope – you have a vested interest in that. But tell me, when did we have a military that didn’t have gays? It is demonstrably true that they’ve been in our armed forces from the beginning. And how were we able to serve with them previously without DADT or all this whining about them? Fairly simply – we didn’t make a big deal out of it or pretend like they were something new just foisted upon us. Somehow we managed to be pretty darn effective before it became a big problem for some in politics.

            Now, tell me when we’ve had a military leadership that “reflected” the “eligible population of the U.S”? That’s from “Recommendation 5” in the report -that our officer and enlisted corps should, in 20-30 years, “reflect … the [service] eligible population of the U.S.”



          • Bruce, you are truncating history…rather violently.
            HAVE there been homosexuals in the service?  Well, NOT SO MUCH where they were open about it…and ESPECIALLY prior to DADT.
            THAT makes for a huge difference, RIGHT?
            Again, LOTS of MOS allow for billeting where it isn’t a BFD.  Combat seems NOT to be the same, RIGHT?
            This is akin to having women on ships, versus in other roles.  HUGE flucking problem (literally).

          • No, not right. It wasn’t an issue. Don’t know how to say it any more succinctly. It wasn’t an issue until it became a political football. And guess what, they served on ships and in submarines, for a couple hundred years on the former and for decades on the latter … oh, no!

          • Rags, at some point doesn’t Bruce’s expert testimony on combat units qualify him to make these statements both as to theory AND general practice?

          • Bruce, NOT openly, they did not.  In the 50s and 60s they would have been severed from the service.  Don’t continue to ignore that point, please.  IF they served (and I’m sure they did) it WAS an issue if their sexual preference was open.
            Looker, McQ’s service is not in question.  His argument damn sure is.
            The navies of the world may have seen a lot of buggery.  If you were caught at it, you were subject to military discipline.  Just like women who are caught screwing around are today.

          • Never said a thing about them serving openly. But you knew, most of the time they knew you knew and it usually wasn’t an issue if they did their job. You have to understand the value of a good soldier to understand why it usually wasn’t an issue if the person was a “good soldier”. And part of that is because being a “good soldier” isn’t about sexual preference. That means it simply isn’t an issue.

            To your point about military discipline – that doesn’t change at all with or without the repeal of DADT.

          • Rags, what I meant was, he’s had the time in the right organizations to have experienced the theory and practice first hand specifically with reference to the argument at hand.

      • They want women in combat … I assume that they will have to register for the draft along with men.
        This is the emancipation of white males.

      • I’ll go a step further – allowing gays to openly serve is not part of a “quota” system, or even an attempt to better represent the gay community in the military.
        It is simply allowing them to serve while openly being gay.
        This is vastly different from making efforts to promote more women and minorities to command ranks.

      • Gays didn’t serve openly in the 80s either.  “For the good of the Service”, as a company XO, I processed the elminination papers on at least 3 or 4 in the Infantry Company I was assinged alone.

        Further, here’s where I think your argument falls flat:

        The Military made a decision that gays could not serve openly….you felt that decision was not good for the service and you wanted it changed.

        However, at another time, in another place, the military makes decisions on leadership and others disagree.  You take issue with the disagreement arguing good of the service.

        If the military cannot make good decisions relative to gays serving openly, then what would lead you to believe they are making good decisions regarding officer promotion?  Can’t use the winning war argument because that applies to the first decision as well. 

        So, it seems to me you’re twisting yourself in a pretzel to argue positions. 

        You’re already pregnant, you just don’t know it.

        • Never said they served openly ever. It’s called a red herring guys. I said we knew who they were. (I was the XO of an infantry company in the ’70s and never processed a single gay out, even though we had them. They were good soldiers. Paratroopers, btw. Who knows, one of ’em may have ended up been your 1SG).

          And try to keep from telling me what I thought, OK?

          As for the rest of your … argument? I haven’t any idea where you’re going with it or frankly what you’re arguing. I’m not arguing anything about military leadership or their “decisions”. DADT came from Congress, Don2, not from military leadership. So your whole point, whatever it was, is based in a false premise.

          The premise is simple, gays have been with us since the beginning, we’ve all known it, and up until fairly recently it really hasn’t been an issue (I was a junior officer in the ’70s – it was never something I spent a minute thinking about or acting on even though there were soldiers I and everyone else knew were gay in the units I was in).

          You can’t seem to get over that or the fact that something you believed was prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the military was, in fact, a non-issue for most of the military. Not my problem, Don2.

          • And the military, when it found out, would promptly discharge them. 
            You advocated the position that the military should not be allowed to discharge them.

            Now others are advocating a position regarding officer promotions.  You say ‘let the military decide, it’s working as it is.’

            That’s the exact same position you argued against re; DADT.

          • That’s not at all what I said and you know it. I said that we’ve had gays in the military since the revolution and we ought to acknowledge that and let them serve without stigma (i.e. openly). This is nothing at all like what is being advocated by this panel. Like it or not, you’re attempt to link the arguments doesn’t wash.

  • “to white and to male”  Come’on man!

  • Our military should be at least as diverse as the U.S. Senate….

  • In for a penny, in for a pound.

  • When you get to the upper echelons of the command structure, you’re looking at a relatively small number of individuals.  Which means you really don’t have enough bodies to expect proportional representative in the first place.

  • We should be more open to accepting casualties so as to allow us to select officers based on the need for diversity rather than capability.

    • Perhaps we could go back to ‘buying your regiment’ – worked wonders in the British Empire.  We could provide a ‘regimental commission purchasing subsidy’ in the Federal budget which would be handed out to under represented segments of society.

  • Over here, we see another take.
    You can’t compare “senior officers” (he assumes O-5 and higher) with today’s demographics.
    Comparing them with the college population of 15-20 years ago, which is where they came from, and the racial component is … representative.
    Sex is another matter, but it seems so far to be more a case of forces outside the military telling women that they shouldn’t even think about joining than the services trying to keep them out. Certainly I see no evidence for it.

  • Didn’t you know? Your a racist until proven innocent in this country. So any discrepancy in racial percentages is by default considered racism.

  • “Having military brass that better mirrors the nation can inspire future recruits and help create trust among the general population, the commission said.”
    Did I miss it, is our general population suddenly distrusting of the military?
    Not to be snippy, but checking out Lyles career, it doesn’t appear he was ever anywhere near the pointy tip of the spear, I’ll amend that if someone sees or knows differently.

  • They really just want us to be ruined, don’t they…

    • The concept of working hard to recruit minorities (all the demographics say that’ll be the white folks in 20 years or so) for leadership positions doesn’t necessarily suppose the candidates recruited need be in any way less qualified than the members composing the current military command.  It’s ONLY a problem if they accept inferior candidates strictly to achieve the acceptable ratio (see how I avoided the word quota there?).
      I’m not going to begin to go into the women in combat issue, I think it’s a mistake, and there is no amount of recruiting that could ever achieve the necessary ratio in order to match the national demographic.  There aren’t that many women in the population who qualify for the role, and would want to perform in that capacity.  Plain and simple.  So racial recruiting aside, the idea that we can ever have a command gender ratio composed of anything LIKE half the population is ludicrous.
      Furthermore, what if they don’t WANT to serve, and that applies across races and genders.  The presumption is that either as draftees, or volunteers, that we have some presently large component of society composed of capable women and ‘minorities’ who WANT to be in the military and in leadership position, and have been denied that opportunity.   I call bullshirt.

      • The implication in all of this is to reach the diversity goal (which seems of utmost importance), you do what is necessary to “reflect” the U.S. population regardless of what you must do to reach that goal. It’s is an absurd implication based in an absurd premise. Have a bunch of white boys who want to serve? Too bad, you’re over represented. Women, sure come on in, you’re under represented and you help us to reach our 50% female quota.

        The point is that as the military is structured, everyone is green (or blue – Navy, AF) and the best green types who can fight the wars we face now and in the future will be the guys (and gals) who will be promoted into those top positions. But you have to EARN it. And that’s where this implication comes in. They want the reflective demographics in 20-30 years and sort of wave their hands at the “earning” the position. Not important as long as the numbers are good.

        As you point out, the military will never be 50% female. Never. Not unless we sign ’em up for the draft and then draft to meet that number. It is possible to hit the racial demographics, but more by chance than by any design. What they’re talking about is a “design”.

        It is another exercise in nonsense that has to blind itself to the fact that the military has a specific function and that function may or may not (which is the case here) lend itself to pie in the sky social nonsense that makes much of left academia giddy with delight. In fact, because of that function and its critical nature, it makes more sense to exempt the military from that sort of nonsense.

        As for the women in combat side of it, someone mentioned there are guys who want to have babies. Tough nuts. You can’t. You aren’t equipped for it. Never will be. And most women aren’t equipped to preform well in infantry combat. Most don’t have the same musculature and upper body strength that men have (both of which are critical to the jobs they do in a combat unit at the enlisted and junior leadership levels). Tough nuts. It’s not “fair”. Life’s not fair. Again, tough nuts.

        We are NOT equal – any of us. When we finally figure that out and accept it, and start concentrating on ensuring that people earn what they get instead of worrying about how many of each race or gender or ethnicity are involved and if that number meets some demographic, we’ll all be a lot better off.

  • The U.S. military is too white and too male at the top and needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat, an independent report for Congress said Monday. [emphasis mine – dj505]

    First of all, I seriously question the “independence” of this report, or any report prepared for the Congress.  I find it much more likely that some busy-body senator or representative looked around, said to him/herself, “Boy, there are a lot of white guys in uniform”, figured to make a splash, and told somebody to write a report PROVING the obvious.  It’s about as “independent” as a report about racism published by the NAACP or the benefits of firearms ownership published by the NRA.

    Second of all, one thing does not necessarily follow from the other: changing recruiting policies and “allowing” women to serve in the combat arms may not make any difference to the composition of the top brass, and certainly not in the short term (for the excellent reason pointed out by Sigivald).  Incidentally, I thought that the military was over-recruiting poor black and Hispanic kids; isn’t that what Taz Charlie Rangle has been claiming for years?

    Finally, I agree with McQ and everybody else here: who gives a f*ck about the racial and sexual make-up of the armed forces so long as they are doing their job, i.e. kicking the sh*t out of our enemies.  This they do pretty well.

    McQHere’s a little thought provoker for you.  You own an NBA team.  Some independent panel asks:  “Is the NBA to black and to male”? 

    An “independent panel” might find the same thing about the White House press corps, the faculty of most major universities, the Congress, the “elite” in Hollywood (how many big-time directors are black, female or Latino?), etc., etc.

    It strikes me that I’ve heard this sort of claptrap before: periodically, some idiot liberal (BIRM) decides to make “diversity” in the Armed Forces an issue.  The effort usually doesn’t persist because the lib really has no interest in the military (it’s icky, you know), and most Americans understand that doing things that degrade the military’s readiness and capabilities is NOT in our national interest.

    With regard to the comparisons with DADT, I don’t think it’s the same.  DADT was an ill-considered attempt to allow a tiny minority to serve who otherwise were not.  This diversity crap is about artificially changing the composition of the military.

    As it happens, I’m actually more comfortable with gays in the ranks than women; at least a gay man doesn’t have to have somebody else carry his ruck because it’s too heavy.

    • The linkage to DADT is this:  the door to the barn was kicked open and now some are suprised the horses are running out.

      • Uh, wrong barn, Don2.

      • Can you explain this a bit more?

        • The DADT policy was working.

          The Officer promotion policy is also apparently working.

          However, those who were against the DADT policy wanted it changed, not to enhance miltiary effectiveness, since they couldn’t provide evidence that the policy was detrimental to effectiveness, but for other non effectiveness reasons.

          In this case McQ rails against similar arguments (ie other non effectiveness reasons) are being made by those who want the officer promtion system changed.

          The barn door analogy may be wrong.  A more apt analogy might be pot, kettle, black.

  • The upper echelons of the command structure is made up of those who are capable of leadership and leadership under combat conditions.  To promote because of race, sex, or political views is not only stupid, but down right dangerous.
    We have a clown who is commander in chief of our military and this has resulted in our military decline.  This goes to show that a man, (or a woman), must be capable of leadership and to make demanding decisions to protect and defend this country. Obama has, is and will never be that kind of leader because he is not able, capable nor intelligent enough in military matters to be such.
    Since the military is mostly a male dominated organization, it is expected that it’s leadership will be mostly male.  Most women are by nature not aggressive, there are exceptions of course, but when it comes to offense or defending action that is a man’s nature to do it.  It doesn’t matter what the skin color or sex or our military leaders are, just so long as they are capable of the leadership that is expected of them.  Most personal in the military do not or are unable to attain positions of command leadership for a variety of reasons, three of the main ones being  is that they choose not to remain in the armed forces, feel themselves not capable of leadership positions or have not shown enough leadership ability during service.
    To say that there is not enough Blacks, Hispanics, or women in military leadership command positions, is to do a disservice to the armed forces, without knowing the reasons why.  Are they able? Are they capable? Are they willing?  And mostly, are they intelligent enough in military matters to make the right command decisions without hesitation and under adverse combat conditions. These is the questions that need to be addressed and not worry about why most military command leaders are white males.