The United States Army says it will expand its efforts to increase the number of officers of color in its branch.
Black and other officers of color are relatively absent from leadership of the Army’s combat units — the main avenue toward the service’s highest ranks.
The Army has responded to the shortage by implementing a strategy that includes enhanced recruiting and mentoring of young minority officers.
“It takes us about 25 years to make a senior officer,” said Lt. Gen. James McConville, the Army’s top officer for personnel. “So we’ve got to start now. As we look at the demographics moving forward, our country is going to be much more diverse. The demographics are changing as we go forward. And we’re going to need to reflect those demographics and we need to start right now.”
Infantry, armor and artillery units have the most acute shortages of African American officers. This year saw just one black colonel among 26 brigades, the Army’s main fighting unit. It contains roughly 4,000 soldiers.
Just one of the 78 battalions is set to be led by a black officer next year. Brig. Gen. Peggy Combs told USA Today that the branch’s efforts to close the gap will be expanded to recruit officers of color in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Phoenix.
The inequality gap affects blacks in just about every area of life. We must continue to demand justice.
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