Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance

The Story Emerges...

The following pages contain links to a small sampling of reports, articles and studies describing the under-representation of minority officers in the senior ranks of the military.  In particular, when one considers this data over the past quarter century or more, and considering how the demographics of America have changed during this timeframe, the stark truth emerges--Latino officers have been virtually excluded from the executive ranks.  HVLA members have been advocating change for decades--the fact that senior military and civilian leadership consistently fails to affect meaningful change poses a national security risk--our all-volunteer military cannot continue to exclude one out of every four Americans and expect to maintain its integrity and effectiveness as a cohesive fighting force over the long term.    


By Colonel Michael Hosie, U.S. Army, and Ms. Kaytlynn Griswold, Penn State University.

Another senior officer speaking truth to power. This recent (July 2017) article states barriers to promotion for minority officers still persist in the modern Army. These barriers are universal, and by extension apply to all branches of the military. The article concludes, "...the concept of the Army as a meritocracy is a myth." CASABA Group concurs the Armed Forces have not yet reached the egalitarian, meritocratic ideal some would claim.

Read the article at: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/articles/meritocracy-myth-challenges-army-officer-corps-diversity/


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By Mr Rand Rodriguez, a U.S. Army civilian and IDA fellow.

In his recent (July 2018) article, published by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), Rodriguez states, "...data shows that females and Hispanics continue to be under-represented in the general officer ranks. While there have been slight gains during the past 22 years, barriers to greater diversity remain. These barriers may be found in organizational dynamics, bias, and institutional practices that prevent greater diversity in the Army."

Again, these same arguments apply universally to all branches of the military, borne out by decades of statistics and analyses depicting zero progress for Latinos.

Read the article at: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/articles/bias-hidden-figure/


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By Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

In his 2009 testimony on page 398 (385 in the book), Admiral Mullen states, "But what I also found was that because we had prioritized on African-Americans, we were nowhere with Hispanics--nowhere." An incredible admission by an unbiased military expert with over 40 years of military service--an admission substantiated via a conversation with CASABA Group in 2017. Yet, the Military Leadership Diversity Commission failed to explore or even report this revelation in their final report. CASABA Group agrees with ADM Mullen that the national spotlight was focused on women and African-Americans (through equal opportunity, affirmative action and diversion & inclusion initiatives) for decades, which produced great results for those groups but excluded Latinos.

Read the article (Chapter 18 of Attitudes Aren't Free) at:

https://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/diversity/attitudes-arent-free.pdf


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By Lt Col Alfred A. Sandoval (CASABA Group) et al

Yet another article (from 2008) discussing the lack of Hispanic representation in the military and civilian executive ranks. As the article summarizes, "In looking at this data, it is hard to argue that diversity initiatives have been organizational priorities for DOD organizations."

Read the article (Chapter 19 of Attitudes Aren't Free) at:

https://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/diversity/attitudes-arent-free.pdf


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Defense Business Board Task Group

Based on diversity data from the 1990s and early 2000's depicting minority officer under-representation, senior military leaders directed the Board to help develop strategies to achieve broader diversity in the general and flag officer ranks. One of their findings from 2003 sounds very familiar to what CASABA Group is advocating today: "Recognizing the fact that Hispanics are the now the largest minority group in the United States, and that their representation in senior military ranks is relatively small, there is an important need for further emphasis and energy in the recruitment/accession, purposeful development, retention and promotion of Hispanic/Latino military officers."

Read the article at:

https://dbb.defense.gov/Portals/35/Documents/Reports//2004/FY03-9_Increasing_ Diversity_On_DoD_Flag_Senior_Exec_2004-3.pdf


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By Colonel Lisa Firmin, USAF (ret)

Col Firmin's research report, published in 2002, provides detailed facts and figures regarding the Latino disparity in the Air Force. As a personnel specialist during her career, she had access to extensive data and analyses that few others had. Her report was subsequently disseminated through the highest levels of the Air Force, including the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Yet, 16 years after her report was published, a comparison of the data then and now clearly depicts a pattern of exclusion.

Read the article at:

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc/firmin.pdf