The U.S. military was one of the first major organizations to integrate by race. The idea of choosing the best candidates, no matter what they look like or where they are from, to keep us safe makes a lot of sense. Which is why the latest move by the military raises a question or two.
The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) just announced they hired Richard Estrada-Torres as their Officer of Diversity and Inclusion. Remember, SOCOM oversees any special operations involving elements from multiple services.
JSOC, a joint command which is focused on counter-terrorism, was established in December 1980 and was later brought in under the umbrella of SOCOM. These people are, as it is called, the sharp end of the stick. USSOCOM includes units from all of the military branches, such as Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Marines Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, and others.
Less than one percent of the United States population serves in the military and two percent of the military are special operators in SOCOM. That means less than .0002% of the nation.
Qualifying for this group is phenomenally difficult, which brings us back to the questions. If officers overseeing SOCOM forces were discriminating against anyone in terms of who they let in, then they were making our nation less safe and making our offensive efforts less effective. If this occurred, then such officers should be immediately relieved of command and prosecuted under some law for harming our nation.
However, if our process and personnel have done their job effectively in bringing new members to these groups, then adding a diversity and inclusion element will diminish the effectiveness of those efforts.
It can’t be both.