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What is the Military Leadership Diversity Commission?

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US Military Becoming A Diversified Fighting Force

US Military Becoming A Diversified Fighting Force

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Updated March 14, 2011

The Military Leadership Diversity Commission was established in 2009 under the National Defense Authorization Act to review the level of diversity among the U.S. military's leadership.

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The act directed the commission to "conduct a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of policies that provide opportunities for the promotion and advancement of minority members of the Armed Forces, including minority members who are senior officers."

The Military Leadership Diversity Commission issued its final report in March of 2011, which called for improved recruitment of minorities, more thorough instruction about advancement in the military and an end to the exclusion of women in combat.

Military Leadership Diversity Commission Findings

The Military Leadership Diversity Commission based its recommendations on findings that white males accounted for 77 percent of the senior officers on active duty in 2008.

The percentage of white males far outpaced the portion of black officers on active duty, who accounted for 8 percent, Hispanics, who made up 5 percent, and Asians, who made up 4 percent. In addition, the commission reported, women held only 16 percent of senior office positions.

Makeup of Military Leadership Diversity Commission

The Military Leadership Diversity Commission was made up of 22 members appointed by the secretaries of defense and homeland security.

The Military Leadership Diversity Commission was chaired by Lester L. Lyles, a former U.S. Air Force vice chief of staff and former commander of the Air Force Materiel Command.


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