Representation and race in America's volunteer military
Eitelberg, Mark J.
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This monograph addresses a question that is as old as civilized society. Who among the people of a nation should be its "guardians"? Who should have the right or responsibility for shouldering the burdens of national defense? The concept of "representation" is first introduced, with reference to its application within the American military. Basic issues are then examined for three general areas of national policy: social equity, political legitimacy, and military effectiveness. Several competing themes are found, and the author suggests that a "reasonable balance" may be the only way to reconcile differences between opposing policy objectives. The discussion of issues and conflicts sets the stage for the main subject of the monograph, participation by blacks in the all-volunteer military. Modern trends in racial representation are reviewed, including the recent surge in enlistments by blacks. The possible cuases and contributing factors for these trends are also evaluated. The discussion then turns to racial representation questions for the 1980s-- focusing on race and equity, race and effectiveness (using individual quality and performance indicators), and aspects of unit performance. Various "running currents of thought" are identified in an essay tracing the participation by blacks in the military from colonial times to present. The author finds that many "currents" have persistently followed the military through its entire past, and most will continue to run for some time to come. In a concluding note, the author offers a positive, yet cautionary outlook for the future. (The monograph presents fourteen statistical tables and numerous bibliographic references in footnote form.)
NPS Report NumberNPS54-86-010
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