Several high-ranking U.S. Army generals said that the military is trying to push for more diverse officers in combat roles, Military.com reported Thursday.
Army Gen. Mike Milley asserted that diversity is an important strength of the armed services in a speech given to Howard University’s ROTC program. “It is your generation that can and will bring the joint force to be truly inclusive of all people,” Milley told the 21 cadets at the historically black college, according to the outlet.
“One of the key strengths of the American military is our diversity and fighting for a common cause and we must get better,” he continued. “Our force is almost 20 percent African American, it’s over 40 percent people of color. But only two of 41 four-star generals are Black. Opportunity in our military must be reflective of the diverse talent in order for us to stay strong.” (RELATED: Tucker Was Right About The Military, And The Intentional Perversion Of His Point Endangers Americans)
When asked about Milley’s comments, John Kirby, the press secretary to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, said that Austin agrees with Milley’s statements. He also noted that Austin thinks diversity makes the military stronger and increases its preparedness, Military.com reported.
“Opportunity in our military must be reflective of the diverse talent in order for us to remain strong,” Army Gen. Mark Milley says U.S. Military must work to fix racial diversity problems. https://t.co/6UvejGegt7
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“It is important for the force to look like the country it serves — absolutely. But he strongly believes diversity is a readiness issue because it allows different perspectives, additional context, different lived experiences to inform the way we make decisions, the policies that we craft, the operations that we lead,” Kirby said.
Maj. Gen. John Evans, commander of Army Cadet Command, told reporters on Wednesday that the army is trying to push more minorities and women into officer career paths. “We’re trying to encourage our female officers and our officers that are ethnically diverse to choose combat arms branches to provide greater opportunities for them in the long term,” he said.
Kirby responded to the remarks, saying, “I want to be very clear right up front, that the diversity of our military is one of our greatest strengths. I’ve seen it for myself in long months at sea and in the combat waged by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve seen it up on Capitol Hill just this past month. And I see it every day here right at the Pentagon.”