Promote the Best Qualified, or Consider Diversity?
Eric B. Olsen
LA498M: LA Capstone-(Military Focus)
Mr. Larry Fegans
4 June 2015
The Army, as part of the Department of Defense (DOD), is the premier military organization in the world. Part of what makes the Army an outstanding organization is the diverse backgrounds that their soldiers are come from. There are African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, Native-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and more that help balance out its demographic profile. Soldiers who are Caucasian make up the majority of the Army demographic (Army G1, 2014). What is most impressive is the ability for everyone to work ...view middle of the document...
Organizations must always capitalize on their diverse workforce by acknowledging the strengths and skills of individuals; however, they also must meet any imposed constraints, such as the budget and root purposes. If an organization places specific individuals or groups over others due to their demographic, it will have negative effects that will make an organization suffer from second and third level detriments. This presentation studies whether DODs diversity management goals will continue making the necessary gains in fairness by responding to the following questions:
1. What are the implications of adjusting the initial enlistment criterion to meet force strength requirements?
2. Is “affirmative action” really the right policy for the DOD?
3. Why is there such a big push for integrating women into combat arms positions?
Changing Enlistment Standards to Boost Numbers
In 2004, the DOD allowed its services to relax their entrance criterion in order to facilitate its 2006 surge into Iraq and Afghanistan. Although the surge itself was necessary, the DOD should have better planned for the flux of originally unqualified recruits.
Examples of the DODs reduced enlistment criterion are reduced aptitude requirements while loosening the moral standards. This dangerous standards adjustment in 2004 placed the military services in their current predicament as blogger Joseph Galloway (2005) stated, the Army elevated its standards to 67 percent for enlistment criteria categories one through three, and two percent for category four scores in 1979. However, the recent drawdown and limited funding is now forcing the services to decrease their numbers, simply directing them to keep the best and brightest. The solution is requiring the services to provide bigger incentive packages to attract the most qualified citizens to join, and retain those who are currently serving; absorbing more budget resources from defense.
Today’s Basic Training Shows Improvement toward Diversity
The U.S. Army starts the indoctrination process with their new members by sending them to basic training, essentially so these new recruits can learn how to be soldiers. According to authors Goldenberg, M., Hamaoka, D., Santiago P., and McCarroll, J. (2010), “Basic training is an intense period of indoctrination and instruction in military skills, rules and customs, including saluting, proper wearing of the uniform, physical fitness, marksmanship, and some combat procedures” (p. 28). Therefore, as a civilian becomes a Soldier, they begin learning Army culture, values, and use teamwork to accomplish training goals. During nine weeks of basic training, soldiers learn everyone has the same opportunity. Army Regulation (AR) 600-20 (2014) states, “soldiers will not be accessed, classified, trained, assigned, promoted, or otherwise managed on the basis of race, religion, gender, or national origin (p. 55). The Army Equal Opportunity Program (EO) is...