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The Making of An Army of One In response to our militarys racial animosity the armed forces implemented affirmative action plans during the 1970s President Clintons 1999 review of affirmative action confirmed that these plans have succeeded in expanding representation of minorities and women especially as officers while improving race relations promoting integration and enhancing overall combat readiness The Army has been characterized as the only institution in America in which whites are routinely bossed around by blacks Moskos 1 How has the Army achieved these results Many analysts have emphasized its special institutional characteristics as a highly closed controlled hierarchical disciplined system with the ability to establish and attain compliance with organizational goals In addition some specific features of Army affirmative action efforts have contributed to their success 1The pool of applicants accepted for Army service is highly selective A senior military officer shared its harder to get into the All-Volunteer Forces than into most colleges Further contributing to quality is the fact that the Army has become the career of choice for many African-Americans 2Army affirmative action plans employ goals promotion of minorities and women within the eligible pool is to occur in the same percentages as overall promotions from that pool In many cases the goals are not linked to timetables In addition the goals serve as presumptions not mandates promotion boards that fail to meet them are deemed to have done their job correctly if they can demonstrate due diligence 3All candidates for promotion are placed in a common pool and are subject to the same standards Race can serve as a factor but only when other differences are very small Promotion is based on well-established performance criteria which are not abandoned in pursuit of affirmative action 4The Army engages in constant training including compensatory training before as well as after admission to the All-Volunteer Forces to enable the highest possible percentage of individuals to meet high standards While outreach
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