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A call to arms: African Americans under represented in Special Ops. (Facts & Figures).



As part of the United States' war on terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act , thousands of military troops--many of whom are African American--will be called upon to assist in the fight. However, surprisingly few will do so as part of the elite U.S. Special Operations Forces Those Active and Reserve Component forces of the Military Services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Also called SOF.  (SOF SOF
abbr.
sound on film
) units.

Though African Americans make up the largest minority component of the U.S. armed forces, very few blacks are in special ops. Among enlisted personnel, African Americans number approximately one out of four in the Army, one out of five in the Navy, and one out of six in the Air Force. But the highest representation of blacks in any branch of the SOF is less than one in 25.

RAND, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis, was asked by the United States Special Operations Command The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM or USSOC) is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands (SOC or SOCOM) of each branch of the U.S. military. The command is part of the U.S.  (USSOCOM USSOCOM United States Special Operations Command ) to undertake a study of minority representation in the SOF. The quantitative analysis presented here shows that minorities are under represented in the S0F when compared to the source populations from which these forces recruit. But the extent of under representation differs between officer and enlisted ranks, and among the different racial/ethnic groups. The study, however, was unable to confirm or deny whether racism was a factor.

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Author:Hocker, Cliff
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2002
Words:209
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