The United States military has a shameful legacy of racial discimination that remains deeply entrenched within it’s justice system. Stark racial inequities in punishment strip Black service members of equal opportunity while racial bias in recruitment and career advancement continues, maintaining an unaddressed racial hierarchy within the rank and file of our nation’s military.
In the United States military, race remains a significant indicator of professional advancement. Despite progress made since integration, the military has struggled to re-codify a system that actualizes equal opportunity across its branches and impartiality amongst its rank and file.
Racial disparities, overt discrimination and implicit bias exist at every level of military life, from recruitment to retirement. Black Americans remain over-represented in service-oriented roles, have a diminutive presence in the officer corps and remain overwhelmingly absent from elite training schools. Though Black service members comprise 19% of the military, only two Black generals count among the military’s top brass.
The disproportionate number of Black services members funnelled into the military's justice system has led to generational benefit obstruction, from World War II to now -- with wide-reaching economic impact on the lives of Black veterans and their families. Black Veterans Project works collaboratively with stakeholders across government, philanthropy and journalism to bring light to these issues and advance an agenda to shift the status quo.