Years ago I served as a mechanized infantryman in Charlie Co., 1/18 Infantry Battalion in Schweinfurt, Germany. Our company had just over 100 guys, and maybe a handful of them were black. I didn’t think about the black sergeants or our black First Lieutenant in terms of race — I just cared that they knew what the heck they were talking about and that they wouldn’t get me killed during a training exercise (like a certain white 1st Lt. almost did), or on a real deployment. Army sociologists, however, do not think like an infantryman.
USA Today reported Thursday:
The lack of black officers who lead infantry, armor and field artillery battalions and brigades — there are no black colonels at the brigade level this year — threatens the Army’s effectiveness, disconnects it from American society and deprives black officers of the principal route to top Army posts, according to officers and military sociologists. Fewer than 10% of the active-duty Army’s officers are black compared with 18% of its enlisted men, according to the Army.
The problem is most acute in its main combat units: infantry, armor and artillery. In 2014, there was not a single black colonel among those 25 brigades, the Army’s main fighting unit of about 4,000 soldiers. Brigades consist of three to four battalions of 800 to 1,000 soldiers led by lieutenant colonels. Just one of those 78 battalions is scheduled to be led by a black officer in 2015. …
“It certainly is a problem for several reasons,” says Col. Irving Smith, director of sociology at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Smith is also an African-American infantry officer who has served in Afghanistan. “First we are a public institution. And as a public institution we certainly have more of a responsibility to our nation than a private company to reflect it. In order to maintain their trust and confidence, the people of America need to know that the Army is not only effective but representative of them.”
The U.S. has an all-volunteer Army. If black people aren’t enlisting in military occupational specialties that might involve stepping on a landmine or getting shot at by snipers, then that in no way should take away from the trust the American people have in the institution.
For those who haven’t been following the exploits of the Army’s in-house race-termites, they’ve been chomping away for quite some time.
Fox News reported in Oct., 2013 on a Pentagon memo that encourages officers to “assume racism is everywhere, every day.”
A controversial 600-plus page manual used by the military to train its Equal Opportunity officers teaches that “healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian” men hold an unfair advantage over other races, and warns in great detail about a so-called “White Male Club.”
“Simply put, a healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian male receives many unearned advantages of social privilege, whereas a black, homosexual, atheist female in poor health receives many unearned disadvantages of social privilege,” reads a statement in the manual created by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI).
These people are sick, and their worldview will result in a less effective fighting force.
Col. Smith puts his finger on the real problem. USA Today’s piece continues:
Parents, pastors and coaches of young black men and women considering the Army often don’t encourage them to join the combat specialties.
“Why would you go in the infantry?” Smith says of a common question. “Why would you want to run around in the woods and jump out of airplanes, things that have no connection to private businesses? Do transportation. Do logistics. That will provide you with transferable skills.”
I can give parents, pastors and coaches countless reasons why a young man would choose to go infantry. In fact, when I enlisted, the thought of doing anything other than infantry was somewhat strange to me. I briefly considered a job as a writer (shocker), but it didn’t sit well in my mind and I signed on for infantry. Regardless, there are plenty of skills an infantryman learns during his time in service that can make him an essential member of any business.
Does this applicant demonstrate grace under pressure? Check. Does he possess the ability to improvise? Check. Does he have a “can-do” attitude? Check. Does he work well in a team? Check. All those skills can be attained by working other jobs, but I would argue that the harder the pressure, the more beautiful the diamond. Military lawyers do not shine as brightly as the U.S. Army infantryman — unless you’re watching a Hollywood movie starring a young Tom Cruise. If you believe otherwise, then you’ll have to excuse me while I laugh.
Here’s another reason to go infantry for all the armchair sociologists out there: You would die to protect the rights that most Americans take for granted. You love your country and think that it is a force for good in the world, warts and all.
If the Army can’t find more young black men who subscribe to that worldview, then it isn’t the Army’s problem — it’s America’s problem. But instead of having an honest national discussion on race and culture, we balk and tell the Army to find a way to make the numbers look good for future USA Today articles.
The U.S. Army should not be used as a petri dish for the experiments of race warriors. Unfortunately, it seems as though the same ideological men and women who took over college campuses years ago have now burrowed into influential corners of the Pentagon.
Years ago, I would have been honored to follow the black men of my company into any battle. (Sgt. Farrow, if you’re out there, I’m thinking of you in particular.) If Army sociologists want more black officers leading combat units, then they should concentrate more on the race-baiters in the media who are busy warping minority minds at a young age, and less on the officers already in leadership positions.
If you don’t believe me, then maybe it’s because you can’t handle the truth.