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Air Force Investigation Shows Black Members Face Ethnic Disparities in Service



US air force
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Black U.S. representatives. A recent internal investigation finds that air forces are handled differently than their white counterparts in a wide variety of ways, including promotions and military justice.

For Black participants in law enforcement apprehensions, criminal investigations, military justice, administrative separations, placement in occupational career fields, some promotion rates, professional military educational advancement, and leadership opportunities, the 150-page report by the Air Force inspector general reported racial inequalities.

For instance, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Black Air Force service members were 72 percent more likely than white service members to receive Article 15 nonjudicial punishment. Black, Hispanic, and male service members were also more likely to be targets of an investigation than white and female members and prosecuted in general and special courts-martial, the study found.

“We’re analyzing root causes and taking appropriate actions to address these challenges, “We’re analyzing root causes and taking appropriate measures to address these challenges. “Now we must all move forward with meaningful, lasting, and sustainable change.”

The inspector general met directly with Black Air Force representatives, who showed a persistent lack of faith in the discipline mechanisms and growth opportunities of the branch for them.

To counter prejudice, bias, and unequal opportunities, two out of every five black service members do not trust their chain of command, the study said. And three out of every five black participants claim that if they get into trouble, they do not and will not receive the same benefit of the doubt as to their white peers.

The leadership of the Air Force must create action plans to resolve the inequalities as part of the report’s recommendations and schedule follow-up reviews to ensure changes are made.

On June 2, following a national reckoning of racial justice sparked in part by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, Air and Space Forces leaders ordered the study.

The external strain was also faced by the Air Force. In May, the nonprofit Protect Our Defenders issued a study outlining how the service missed the ball on previous promises in 2016 to counter racial inequalities.

The Pentagon released a study last week outlining many ways where the Department of Defense could boost the playing ground for service members of all races to level the playing field.

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