The US Special Forces as a lily-white military career, a post-mortem survey

The US Department of Defense finally released the list of US soldiers killed on the NATO MH-47 Chinook helicopter downed in Afghanistan.
30 Casualties of latest NATO helicopter crash, US Special Forces including Navy SEALs
Median age was in high 30s, which is unsurprising for highly trained Special Ops, but isn’t it interesting that the usual disproportionate percentage of Americans of Color as cannon fodder (see casualty figures) doesn’t extend to the higher-paid military career jobs?
Huge props of course to African Americans who decide against being career hitmen. And let’s not neglect the exclusively white composition of the Abu Ghraib snap shot perps, and the docket, however sparse, of other US soldiers accused of war crimes.

9 thoughts on “The US Special Forces as a lily-white military career, a post-mortem survey

  1. Approximately 64% of the Army is white, 19% is black, 12% is Hispanic and 5% are other. In combat arms MOS’s 48% are white, 21% are black, 37% are Hispanic and 32% are other. In supply and rear operations 22% are white, 48% are black, 34% are Hispanic and 34% are other. Looking at these percentages its easy to see that the blacks do not want to be in the combat arms where the majority of special forces soldiers come from. It is not the army that is discriminating against the blacks, it is the blacks being discriminatory against which jobs they choose upon entering the army. If they want the special forces jobs they need to get from behind the desks and from behind the wheels of trucks and come to the front line where the fighting is being done.

  2. Despite your criticisms and snide remarks these guys are heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. They weren’t doing it for race, color, creed, or religion. They did what they did for loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage in the name of freedom. I know that these are values that you have never had nor ever will but they ring true in the hearts of true patriots and veterans.

  3. My nephew was stupid enough to join the Greenie Beanies.
    He’s now a hired assassin just like you claim to be.
    He bought the same pack of lies you bought in order to get put into that shit-pile and I don’t know who to be angrier against, the liars who lead him or him for being stupid enough to follow them. I don’t care what your racist agenda is. You kill human beings for the profit, and yes, the PROFIT of cowards like Bush and Cheney and their entire Wealthy Elite Country Club circle of accomplices.

    You’re not fighting for America you’re fighting for the wealthiest 1% of Americans. Your leaders have already admitted it but say it doesn’t matter.

    Apparently it matters to YOU enough that you want to deny that you’ve been had.The bastards didn’t even kiss you after they bent you over the sink, did they?

    Take some advice from somebody older and wiser, kid. Don’t get killed or wounded or killed by some stupid shit like Agent Orange (which they still use) or Depleted Uranium because the Government won’t repay you or your wife and kids for the loss. They’ll use you up and throw you away.

    And the Rich Bitch cowards like Bush? Bush was doing a photo-opportunity at Walter Reed and was talking to a black soldier who had lost both his legs. Bush rubbed the Real Mans HEAD.

    I don’t know if they still do plantation-ignorant racist shit like that in the Carolinas but even in Texas they don’t.
    By the way, in case you were wondering, I’ve been in places in Texas you wouldn’t want to visit, too redneck for you.

    So, now, about how you’ll be treated by the Army once you’re no longer useful to them.

    They’ll hold you down and take turns shittin’ on your face, boy. No lie. The retarded bastards had some of those Blackwater puke-meisters guarding Peterson AFB and when my landlady, the Widow of a Vietnam Vet killed by Agent Orange and daughter of a sailor wounded at Midway, had papers from the VA to get her WIDOWS I.D. card, the bitchwads at the gate, not even Air Force SPs, mercenaries, let her through to the Admin building and when she got there they threatened her with arrest.

    The same way you threatened us with some form of violence for speaking out against that kind of shit being handed down to you and everybody else, in or out of the military.

    I don’t know in what universe you’d be that superior to us to be entitled to treat people like that or even to express support for those who do, but it damn sure ain’t THIS world.

    It’s a crying shame that a grown man, such as you say you are, should have to be spoken (written) to in such harsh terms but apparently that’s all you’ll listen to.

    You ain’t better than anybody else on the planet, get used to it and stop whining like a little tittie-baby when people point it out.

  4. Every single member of the military is paid the same amount as every other person with their rank across the board. A Navy SEAL E5 is paid the same amount as a Navy cook E5. The only variation comes from small bonuses for certain jobs or skills. If you know a needed language then you get a small bonus of around $100 a month (the numbers fluctuate, but every language on the same tier of significance is paid the same) regardless of what your actual MOS is. Other jobs like EOD and Special Forces get a small monthly hazard pay bonus for obvious reasons. It’s much like how every deployed person gets combat duty pay on top of their base salary.

    And when you break it down the Special Forces community has disproportionately high casualty rates. Regular combat arms follow, but nobody is forced to do those MOSes. Anyone can become SF or EOD if they pass the course so there is no racial exclusion for these jobs. It’s just, for whatever reason, not as many minorities volunteer for these sorts of jobs.

    Even when someone enlists with an Open Contract, or fails a non-combat MOS course they are never placed within combat arms or EOD unless they specifically request it. The support services (admin, cooks, mechanics, etc.) have the most diversity out of any other job in the military. Those jobs also are among the safest, and consequently have the lowest casualty levels.

    There are lots of minorities who make it through a highly competitive selection process to join prestigious postings such as Drill Instructor or Silent Drill Team duty.

  5. The group pic speaks for itself Ann, all higher pay-grade white guys.

    Racial diversity among cooks, janitors and doormen is not a sign of equal opportunity.

  6. The only reason they are higher pay grade is because they’ve been in longer, and the amount of time their training takes ensures they’re higher ranking. You can do a quick search for BUD/S selection and training which will show there isn’t a racial component to it. It’s purely a numbers game, and is entirely performance based. The Navy has spent millions of dollars in research on SEAL training, and even they can’t make any predictions of who will pass BUD/S beyond there being slightly better outcomes among wrestlers and swimmers. That in and of itself is vague as the drop rate hovers around 90%. When coupled with the high degree of danger and arduous physicality inherent to being a SEAL make it far from Good Old Boys Club material.

    You’re misunderstanding how things work in an MOS. Career military personnel who are cooks do not spend 20 years heating up green beans. Junior members do that, and as they gain experience they gradually take on more tasks. In the case of cooks they are trained and responsible for supervising junior personnel, food safety, equipment standards, supply chain projections, detailed accounting and reports, etc. So once you show you’re going to stay past one enlistment you end up as the equivalent of middle management pretty quickly.

    FYI: there are no doormen or janitor type jobs in the military. Every junior enlisted person is responsible for the cleanliness of their workspace, and from personal experience I can say it’s something everyone starts out doing regardless of race or job.

  7. The doorman-janitor mention was sarcasm. You miss the point: where are the African-American SEALs? Merit or ability doesn’t appear to be the qualification for this club. Elsewhere non-whites are good enough to fill the ranks of infantry casualties and professional athletes.

  8. Eric, I’m well aware it was sarcasm on your part, just as it was on mine at your implication of some jobs being less valuable or career worthy than others. There is no racial aspect to applying for, attending, or graduating special forces schools. If anything having a special warfare background can be more career limiting than being a regular infantryman as they are the ones who actually end up in the lucrative upper echelon command posts. These personnel typically do not end up assigned out of their communities, to include high ranking command positions. The only real variation of this is with Army Rangers as many Army Generals do rate the tab. The difference is that being a qualified Ranger does not mean you ever actually serve as one, and is the only special warfare MOS in which it is possible and acceptable to immediately return to conventional units after graduation.

    As for Navy SEALs it is obvious that the core of their training and mission involves the water. This is a school in which people have to train for years prior for having a shot at even being competitive, let alone eventually pass. Most of the ones who do pass could likely earn a swimming scholarship to a major D1 college, or even make a respectable showing at Olympic team tryouts. One of the very few common traits of SEALs is that they participated heavily in aquatic sports such as swimming, water polo, surfing, etc.

    Now look at the demographic breakdown of swimming skills among Americans. USA Swimming released a study in 2010 determining which demographics had swimming skills. 40% of Caucasians have little to no swimming ability, Hispanics are at 58%, and African Americans are at 70%. I want to emphasize I don’t think the potential to swim is influenced by race, but instead that cultural attitudes about the necessity of learning how to swim are. So yes minorities are under represented, but it’s not because the Navy is being racist.


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