TABLE 2-1 Race/Ethnicity and Gender of Active-Component First-Time Applicants, by Service, FY 2002 (percentage)

 

Army

Navy

Marine Corps

Air Force

DoD

Men

White

65.2

60.6

79.5

74.4

68.1

Black

12.4

22.7

9.7

15.9

14.9

Other/Unknown

22.4

16.7

10.8

9.7

17.0

Hispanic

12.3

16.1

17.4

10.3

13.9

Women

White

54.6

52.2

71.3

65.8

57.6

Black

22.5

30.2

16.0

22.5

23.9

Other/Unknown

22.9

17.6

12.7

11.7

18.5

Hispanic

14.8

18.0

19.6

12.9

15.5

Totals

Men

78.5

79.6

91.2

72.4

79.8

Women

21.5

20.4

8.8

27.6

20.2

NOTE: Columns will not add to 100% because Hispanics can be included in multiple races.

SOURCE: Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (2002).

The military services’ personnel requirements are further complicated by a desire to have the racial and ethnic characteristics of the force reasonably representative of society as well as by legal and policy constraints that prevent the assignment of women to some direct-combat military occupational specialties. These concerns are important because medical and physical fitness requirements for service are likely to have differential impacts by race and sex.

As shown in the Tables 2-1 through 2-4, the military services have been extremely successful maintaining a racial and ethnic mix. Among applicants for military service (Table 2-1) and among new recruits (Table 2-2), blacks are slightly overrepresented compared with the population ages 18 to 24, while Hispanics are slightly underrepresented. Compared with the population ages 18 to 24, blacks are substantially overrepresented among all active-duty military personnel and Hispanics are somewhat underrepresented (Table 2-3). Although women make up a substantial proportion of the force, that proportion is far less than their representation in society (Table 2-4).



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