Military Connection: Military to Set Standard for American Equality

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By Debbie Gregory.

We like to think of the U.S. as the land of opportunity. And along with opportunity, there are also the implications of equality- meaning that there are opportunities for everyone. But the truth of the matter is that there are still very few ethnic minority and female leaders in industry, commerce and government.

To drive home this point, take a look at the United States Senate. There are only 20 women (out of 100) currently serving as senators. There have only been a total of 44 female senators since the formation of the Senate in 1789.

Also, only 5.2% of current Fortune 500 CEOs are female. Less than 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are African American. These are statistics to think about when words such as diversity, equality and opportunity are discussed.

Studies have shown that a diverse group makes better decisions. So it would only make sense to train and groom a more diverse group of leaders for the future. One of the best vehicles to generate leaders is the military.

Veterans go on to be leaders in their communities after they leave the military. Whether they hold a public office, take on a profession that puts them in that role, or mentor others of their own accord, Veterans take on leadership roles seamlessly, with the values and confidence they gained through military service.

The military is currently in the process of transitioning women into combat roles. For the initial phases of the transition, the different branches of the military have begun attempting to implement female officers and senior enlisted into units or jobs that previously excluded women. This included the introduction of female officers onboard Navy submarines, and allowing female officers to apply for Army Ranger School and Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course. Military leadership feels that putting women in leadership roles will ease the transition for junior enlisted females at a later time.

It is imperative that the U.S. military becomes the flag bearer of diversity, leading our nation down the path towards equality. It should start by allowing more females and minority members into different jobs and leadership roles. This could ignite changes in other realms of the nation, including businesses, and within the government.

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Military Connection: Military to Set Standard for American Equality: By Debbie Gregory