Sunday, July 22, 2007

Conway: Minority enlistment rate of 7% troubling

Above: A Marine with 2nd Marine Logistics Group mans a M2 .50 caliber machine gun while providing security during a dismounted security patrol along Main Supply Route Mobile in Al Asad in June.

The Marine Corps has made significant strides in attracting and retaining more minorities in uniform, but troubling signs loom on the horizon, Commandant Gen. James Conway told an officers’ association meeting.

Minority enlisted accessions have slid over time. While 27 percent of Marines enlisting in 1979 were minorities, the number of minority enlistments had dropped by last year to about 7 percent, said Conway, speaking to a luncheon crowd July 19 at the annual National Naval Officers Association conference...

Among enlisted Marines, the number of minorities at the higher staff noncommissioned officer ranks has jumped dramatically, with more minority Marines re-enlisting into the career force. Among first-termers, 40.4 percent of blacks are re-enlisting, a higher rate than whites, who re-enlisted at a rate of 23.8 percent. Second-term re-enlistments saw similar hikes among minorities, he said, although racial and ethnic differences level out after the third re-enlistment.

Read the rest at Marine Corps Times

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