Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Affirmative Action Scandal Rocks Naval Academy: Students Disillusioned at Lower Admissions Standards, Easier Coursework for Minorities

January 29th, 2011 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Minority recruiting is becoming the hot topic again in the Marine Corps and all the other services as well.  This is a like a bad cold that keeps coming around and around.  General Krulak, the CMC in the mid 90’s, tried to implement the 12/12/5 program that would push for 12% Black, 12% Hispanic and 5% others in the Officer ranks by a certain year.  This lead to recruiter misconduct (desperate to make mission they faked scores), leading to lower qualified applicants being accepted and a lawsuit that changed this from being a Mission, to being called a “Goal” that we need to aspire to.

Recruiting Blacks is not impossible but it’s a difficult market to break into when all the other Generals are out there are offering Johnny a $100K signing bonus to join the likes of General Motors and General Electric so that they can meet their minority staffing goals. 

 I get tired of old dinosaurs like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) demanding equal rights and that the Marine Corps step up their recruitment of Blacks and yet they do nothing in return to help out.  If I was the Commandant of the Marine Corps, I would request, no I would demand that if they want to see this shift, they need to instill more pride in our Military and back us up, pushing more highly qualified students to serve our country.  I attended the NAACP national Convention in St. Paul MN back in 1995.  Yes, I was one of maybe fifteen white guys in this entire place and can understand the feeling of being a Minority.  There was a black Marine Major there who was in charge of some Military event with the Tuskegee Airmen.  He had the balls to ask me to leave the room because this event was for blacks only.  One of our black recruiters we brought to the event heard him say this and started out of the room with me.  The Major said “No Dave, we want you to stay here.”  Dave laughed and said “No thanks, I go where Taco goes.” The Major finally relented and let me stay in the room but wasn’t happy about it.   One thing I picked up at the conference was that the old Vietnam perception that we are drafting and putting only blacks on the front line was  still alive and well.  I think that would be shattered today if you looked at the fallen in the last ten years, I think you would be shocked to know the actual percentages of Black vs White vs Hispanic deaths.

Race is a tough card.  No way around it.  I have two buddies in the Corps who are black but that never comes up.  They are brothers and guys that I would run through the gates of hell with an open gas can if it meant saving them (borrowed that from my favorite Congressmen Allen West USA (Ret) who I campaigned for) and that is something that I like about the Corps.  You succeed on your merit, not your skin color.  White/Black/Tan/Red doesn’t matter, you are all equally Green in the Marine Corps and rewarded on your outstanding performance or your failure, it’s based on you. 

 The Article below highlights the problem that arises when you lower the minimums to make a “Goal” at even the toughest of schools to get into, the Naval Academy. I think it’s unfair to the minorities who have worked hard, have the smarts and leadership abilities but are cast into this shadow of doubt as to whether they made it on merit or just because they were a “Goal”.

Affirmative Action Scandal Rocks Naval Academy: Students Disillusioned at Lower Admissions Standards, Easier Coursework for MinoritiesPosted by Peter Schweizer Jan 27th 2011 at 3:09 am in Featured Story, Justice/Legal, Soldiers | Comments (137)
Professor Bruce Fleming is not your typical US Naval Academy (USNA) Professor.  He teaches English and he also happens to be a liberal.  I’ve written favorably in my books about his work because he also happens to believe in speaking the truth.  And by speaking the truth about the dirty secrets of affirmative action at the Naval Academy,  he has set off a fire storm.

Fleming wrote a piece last year exposing the fact that the USNA had a “two-tiered” system of admission that was designed to bring more minorities into the academy. (Since access to the full article has expired, reporting on the article is available here.) And he began speaking to academy alumni about the lower standards.  ”We’ll do anything to get non-white students,” he said,  in order to appear more diverse and improve the football team.  According to Fleming, the admissions system is two-tiered because  minority candidates have lower test scores and grades than their counterparts. In short,  Fleming says that the Academy is rejecting better qualified white applicants to admit minority candidates with less impressive credentials.  The USNA has been very aggressive on the affirmative action front in recent years.  In 2009, Adm. Gary Roughead, the chief of naval operations, went so far as to say that  “diversity is the No. 1 priority” at the academy. (Gee, I guess training warriors and officers is now #2).
But Fleming,  who has served on the academy’s admissions board,  goes even further.   While white applicants are required to secure a nomination by a member of congress or other federal official,  minority candidates are sometimes given what he calls “a pro forma nomination to make it legit.”
But it gets even worse. As the Associated Press reports:
“Fleming told The Associated Press that midshipmen who struggle are given easier coursework or unlimited tutoring, breeding resentment among students who expected to get a first-rate education along with their military training. The environment is particularly toxic for talented black midshipmen, he said, because they are perceived by some classmates as less-qualified.
‘My students are disillusioned beyond belief,’ Fleming said. ‘They see people being coddled for political reasons or racial reasons or sports reasons.’
The result, he said, is a watered-down officer corps that weakens the military. Navy leaders haven’t fully articulated their reasoning for wanting more minority officers, he said.
‘What I hear is, what the enlisted people want is an officer who won’t get them killed,’ he said.”
The Navy apparently doesn’t care for Fleming’s honesty.  Even though he was recommended for a merit pay increase by his supervisors,  it was denied by the Navy brass.  So Fleming filed a complaint.   While he cannot discuss the details,  he says that he is very satsifed with the result.
I had precious few professors like Fleming when I went to college.  I wish I had more.  Bravo to Fleming for speaking the truth.  Hopefully his efforts will help to restore the highest standards to the USNA.

Tags: , , , , , ,