Marine Corps Recruitment Program Questioned Over Discrimination

( – Republican Representatives have condemned a Marine Corps program for racial and gender discrimination. Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and Rep. Mark Alford of Missouri wrote to Dr. Michael Strobl, head of Marine recruitment, saying the Diversity Aimed Officer Program (DOAP) contradicts the service’s commitment to meritocracy, which Strobl confirmed to a House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Personnel hearing on September 20.

In testimony to the committee, Strobl said the Marine Corps takes pride in its commitment to recognizing and rewarding excellence in a fair and transparent way. However, the DOAP targets ethnic minorities and female officers, intending to single them out for promotion. The Representatives asked how the Department of Defense’s Strategic Management Plan’s commitment to “promotion and retention of members of underrepresented populations” can coincide with an equitable and transparent recruitment and advancement process.

Banks and Alford gave Strobl a deadline of October 15 to respond and provide details of how many applicants come from the “underrepresented populations” and how many have been hired or promoted.

Established in 2021, the DOAP seeks to provide “underrepresented” groups with the opportunity to “visualize and pursue an officer career path.” Banks and Alford believe this policy results from pressure from the Biden administration to neutralize meritocratic selections.

Current Department of Defense data shows that females account for 9.1% of the active-duty officer corps, while 79.9% are white. Reserve figures show that 79% are white and 8.5% are female.

In July, President Biden issued a statement requiring “diversity” in all sections of America’s defense. He published the remarks on the anniversary of President Truman’s executive order to desegregate America’s military and said diversity in the armed forces is crucial. “Today, more than 40 percent of active-duty service members are people of color. Yet, despite this growing diversity, service members of color still face unacceptable barriers,” the president said.

In a poll in May, only 34% of black Americans believed diversity quotas were helpful; 14% said they were harmful.

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