The Military Leadership Diversity Commission’s (MLDC) conclusion this week that there are too many white men in senior positions in the military “is a slap in the face” to those minorities who have achieved seniority, according to retired Lt. Colonel and Florida Republican Rep. Allen West.
According to the MLDC’s report, released Monday, 77 percent of active duty senior officers are white, 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women. The report suggested the lack of minorities in military leadership is something that needs to change. To that end, the commission’s report includes 20 recommendations on how to increase the proportion of minority officers in the military in order to create a fighting force that better represents the make up of the population it defends.
In an interview with The Daily Caller, West, who is black, was not pleased with the report, saying that the military is not a social experiment for outside groups to impose their theories. Rather, he said, it is a merit based organization where anybody can succeed.
“Everyone that comes into the military has an equal opportunity to get promoted to the next level. It is not about outside entities trying to engineer and design results and outcomes or create a sense of equal achievement and when some military diversity group writes a report saying there are too many white men on top,” West said. “It is kind of a slap in the face to those who have risen through the ranks such as four star General [Lloyd] Austin, [General] Kip Ward, many others. We don’t need these outside entities trying to design or shape a military.”
West continued by noting that many confuse privileges with rights. To West, it is a privilege to serve in the military. He also said it is not an institution with which outsiders should tinker, especially while engaged in conflicts abroad.
“I think that when you look at these groups and other liberal special interest groups that keep trying to chip away at the military,” he said. “We are engaged with a very vicious enemy in two combat areas and who knows what is going to happen in North Africa and the Middle East and now is not the time for us to stop and start sensitivity training.”
West suspects that the military as an institution is targeted by liberals because of the things it represents.
“The military stands for things that liberals don’t care for: standards, discipline, honor, character. And those are things they don’t like because they believe everyone should be equal…that is not what the military is all about.”