Diversity in Spec Ops?

Infinitejest12

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I was just reading a journal article written by Army Col. Michael Copenhaver related to diversity in Special Operations Forces and came across something interesting. The writer of the article stated that more diversity in units would increase “operational capability.“ Is this just political correctness/affirmative action or does Copenhaver have a point?
 

DA SWO

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I was just reading a journal article written by Army Col. Michael Copenhaver related to diversity in Special Operations Forces and came across something interesting. The writer of the article stated that more diversity in units would increase “operational capability.“ Is this just political correctness/affirmative action or does Copenhaver have a point?
Depends, do we maintain standards, or lower standards to get diversity?
 

Marauder06

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I read an article many years ago that stated one of the reasons for the lack of diversity in SOF, and in combat arms fields in general, is because minorities tended not to opt into those careers fields. The reasoning was, IIRC, that a substantial percentage of minorities join the military to gain a skill, or go into non-combat-arms fields because that's simply what they want to do. White men disproportionately self-select into "fighting" career fields, from which most of the military's senior leadership as well as SOF are drawn.

This isn't the article I remember, but it's similar: Pentagon's elite forces lack diversity
 

Locksteady

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If we opt to use combat arms as a starting metric, I don't think any inference could be made about SOF specifically unless the ratio of whites to <insert racial minority here> in SOF was significantly higher than the ratio for those same two groups in combat arms.

However, I think the combat arms ratio wouldn't be a useful baseline metric unless the comparison was service branch-specific, mainly since only two of the SOF-bearing military branches even have the conventional combat arms forces to compare to their respective SOF counterparts.
 

BloodStripe

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racing_kitty

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What I’d be concerned with is if there were to be a targeted drive to bring minorities into combat arms, as that’s where the best leadership roles are, how long before we hear that “Racist white Americans are disproportionately sending minorities to die on the battlefield.”

Never mind that it’s where the rock star, hi-viz, leadership positions are. There won’t be a hashtag for the “black Mad Dog.” Today’s cultural sensitivities will think our SecDef took a page from the script of the South Park movie.

 

Marauder06

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“Racist white Americans are disproportionately sending minorities to die on the battlefield.” think this came out during Vietnam, saying blacks were being drafted and killed more than whites, which was completely wrong.
Rep. Charles Rangel made a charge like that several years ago, and like you say, it was also false. Whites make up the majority of the nation. Therefore it makes sense that they make up the majority of the military. And since they make up the majority of the combat arms, and the combat arms do most of the fighting, it makes sense that whites, specifically white men, die in combat disproportionate to their representation in the overall population.

Whites Account for Most of Military's Fatalities
 

DasBoot

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Diversity for diversity sake is lame. We have yet to start saying “we need at least 10% of each RASP class to be African-American and 10% to be Asian.” I don’t foresee that ever happening but who knows.

I’ll say I like to have a broader spectrum of the population around for my guys to interact with. I grew up in the military, I spent the majority of my childhood bouncing between a diverse area of Massachusetts and a diverse area of Florida. I went to college at a huge school that had me interact with an even broader spectrum of the population. Then I enlisted- I have had zero issues fitting in or getting along with a wide range of people.

I cannot say the same for a lot of my peers and Rangers. A lot of guys from the far ends of the spectrum- from the true inner city or from the middle of nowhere- had minimal interaction with people of different backgrounds, and it can be an adjustment for them to really click.

To echo our favorite Deep State member @Salt USMC it helps to have people who can interact and move around non permissive and semi permissive environments us whiteys can’t move in, especially in certain career fields and units.

Real world example- there’s a squad leader, who’s a behemoth of a man who is of Arabic decent. He speaks Arabic, Farsi and a couple other dialects, including decent Pashtu. When he’s been over seas on target he will literally be able to scream at and take charge of Afghans without a Terp. It’s impressive.

That’s why we need more diversity- getting guys opened up to new cultures is cool and will help if they decide to get out of the Army. But really it comes down to the fact we need a lot of weird experiences and random skill sets we can’t hope to obtain (like being able to scream/translate Ranger into Pashtu) without getting less traditional groups to join theDOD, Army and SOF more specifically
 
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