Military diversity group says there are too many white men on top

Caroline May | Reporter

As if the military did not have enough to worry about with two wars, troops around the globe and members of Congress calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya (a de facto act of war), the Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC) Monday released a report informing those in uniform that there are too many white men in their uppermost ranks.

Ordered by Congress in the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, the report seeks to increase diversity.

“The commission’s recommendations support two overriding and related objectives: (1) that the Armed Forces systematically develop a demographically diverse leadership … and (2) that the services pursue a broader approach to diversity that includes the range of backgrounds, skill sets and personal attributes that are necessary to enhancing military performance,” the report reads.

According to the document, 77 percent of active duty senior officers are white, 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women — something that needs to change, according to the MLDC.

“Leveraging diversity as a vital strategic military resource will require the commitment, vision, and know-how of leaders at every level,” the report continues. “Without this commitment to instill respect for diversity as a core value, the needed cultural change may not take place.”

To that end the commission has provided 20 recommendations to cure the military of its white male scourge — including increasing the eligibility pool, making diversity a “priority,” allow women in combat, instituting more outreach efforts, implementing “diversity strategic plans” and requiring official explanations when a minority or woman is not nominated to 3- and 4-star positions.

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