When Secretary McNamara issued his equal opportunity directive in 1963, all segregated public accommodations, schools, and even housing near military reservations became potential targets of the Department of Defense's integration drive. This change in policy was substantive, but the traditionalists who feared the sudden intrusion of the services into local community affairs and the reformers who later charged McNamara with procrastination missed the point. More than a declaration of racial principles, the directive was a guideline for the progressive application of a series of administrative pressures. Endorsing the Gesell Committee's concept of command responsibility, McNamara enjoined the local commander to oppose discrimination and foster equal opportunity both on and off the military base. He also endorsed the committee's recommendation for the use of economic sanctions in cases where voluntary compliance could not be obtained. By demanding the approval of the service secretaries for the use of sanctions, McNamara served notice that this serious application of the commander's authority would be limited and infrequent. He avoided altogether the committee's call for closing military bases.
The secretary's critics overlooked the fact that no exact timetable was set for the reforms outlined in the directive, and actually several factors were operating against precipitate action on discrimination outside the military reservation. Strong sentiment existed among service officials for leaving off-base discrimination problems to the Department of Justice, and, as early reactions to the committee report revealed, the committee's findings did little to alter these feelings. More important, the inclination to postpone the more controversial aspects of the equal opportunity directive received support from the White House itself. Political wisdom dictated that the Department of Defense refrain from any dramatic move in the civil rights field while Congress debated the civil rights bill, a primary legislative goal of both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. "Avoid civil rights spectaculars" was the White House's word to the executive departments while the civil rights act hung fire.1
The lack of pressure by black servicemen and civil rights advocates lent itself to official procrastination. Civil rights organizations, preoccupied with racial unrest throughout the nation and anxious for the passage of new civil rights legislation, seemed to lose some of their intense interest in service problems. They paid scant attention to the directive beyond probing for the outer limits of the new policy. In the months following the directive, officials of the NAACP and other organizations shot off a spate of requests for the imposition of off limits sanctions against certain businesses and schools and in some cases even whole towns and cities.2 When Defense Department officials made clear that sanctions were to be a last, not first, resort and offered the cooperation of local commanders for a joint effort against local discrimination through voluntary compliance, the demands of the civil rights organizations petered out.3
According to a 1964 survey of black servicemen and veterans, this group enjoyed military life more than whites and were more favorably disposed toward the equal opportunity efforts of the Department of Defense.4 They continued to complain, but the volume of their complaints was considerably reduced. One unsettling note: although fewer in number, the complaints were often addressed to the White House, the Justice Department, the civil rights organizations, or the Secretary of Defense, thus confirming the Gesell Committee's finding that black servicemen continued to distrust the services' interest in or ability to administer justice. 5
The Secretary of Defense's manpower staff processed all these complaints. It dismissed those considered unrelated to race but forwarded many to the individual services with requests for immediate remedial action. Significantly, those involving the violation of a serviceman's civil rights off base continued to be sent to the Justice Department for disposition. Defense Department officials themselves adjudicated the hundreds of discrimination cases involving civilian employees.6
In the weeks and months following publication of the equal opportunity directive, official replies to the demands and complaints of black servicemen and their allies in the civil rights organizations continued to be carefully circumscribed. Whatever skepticism such restricted application of the Gesell recommendations may have produced among the civil rights leaders, the department found itself surprisingly free from outside pressure. It was able to set the pace of its own reform and to avoid meanwhile a clash with either reformers or segregationists over major civil rights issues of the day.
The Defense Department could do little about discrimination either on or off the military reservation until it was better organized for the task. The secretary needed new bureaucratic tools with which to develop new civil rights procedures, unite the disparate service programs, and document whatever failures might occur. He created a civil rights secretariat, assigning to his manpower assistant, Norman S. Paul, 7 the responsibility for promoting equal opportunity in the armed forces. Although racial affairs had always been considered among the manpower secretary's general duties, with precedents reaching back through the Personnel Policy Board to World War II when Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy supervised the employment of black troops, McNamara now significantly increased these responsibilities. The assistant secretary would represent him "in civil rights matters," would direct the department's equal opportunity programs, and would provide policy guidance for the military departments, reviewing their policies, regulations, instructions, and manuals and monitoring their performance.8 To carry out these functions, the Secretary of Defense authorized his assistant to create a deputy assistant secretary for civil rights.9 Again a precedent existed for the secretary's move. In January 1963 Paul had assigned an assistant to coordinate the department's racial activities.10 The reorganization transferred the person and duties of the secretary's civilian aide, James C. Evans, to the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. The new organization was thus provided with a pedigree traceable to World War I and the work of Emmett J. Scott,11 although Evan's move to the deputy's staff was the only connection between Scott and that office. The civilian aides, limited by the traditionally indifferent attitudes of the services toward equal opportunity programs, had been used to advise civilian officials on complaints from the black community, especially black servicemen, and to rationalize service policies for civil rights organizations. The new civil rights office, reflecting McNamara's positive intentions, was organized to monitor and instruct military departments. The civil rights deputy was a relatively powerless bureaucrat. He might investigate discrimination and isolate its causes, but he enjoyed no independent power to reform service practices. His substantive dealings with the services had to be staffed through his superior, the Assistant Secretary for Manpower, a man to whom equal opportunity was but one of many problems and who might well question new or aggressive civil rights tactics. Such an attitude was understandable in an official with little or no experience in civil rights matters and no day-to-day contact with civil rights operations. Norman Paul, whose experience was in legislative liaison, might also be especially sensitive to the possibility of congressional or public criticism.12 Indicative of the assistant secretary's attitude toward his civil rights deputy was the fact that the position was reorganized and retitled, with some significant corresponding changes in function each time, a bewildering five times in ten years.13 To add to the problems of the civil rights office, nine different men were to occupy the deputy's position, three of them in the capacity of acting deputy, in that same decade. 14
The organization of the equal opportunity program of the Secretary of Defense was not without its critics. Some wanted to enhance the prestige of the equal opportunity program by creating a separate assistant secretary for civil rights.15 Such an official, accountable to the Secretary of Defense alone, would be free to direct the services' racial activities and, they agreed, would also seine as a highly visible symbol to servicemen and civil rights advocates alike of the department's determination to execute its new policy. Others, however, defended the existing organization, arguing that racial discrimination was a manpower problem, and the number of assistant secretaries was fixed by law and the chance of congressional approval for yet another manpower position was remote. 16
These organizational problems had yet to appear in July 1963 when at Yarmolinsky's suggestion Secretary McNamara appointed Alfred B. Fitt the first civil rights deputy. Since 1961 the Army's Deputy Under Secretary for Manpower, Fitt had recently been on loan to the Office of the Secretary of Defense to coordinate the department's responses to the Gesell Committee. He was the author of the equal opportunity directive signed by McNamara, and his personal views on the subject, while consistent with those of Yarmolinsky and McNamara, were often expressed in more advanced terms. Going beyond the usual arguments for equal treatment based on morale and military efficiency, Fitt referred to the black servicemen's struggle as a moral issue. He was glad, he later confessed, to be on the right side of such an issue, and he felt indebted to the positive racial policies of Kennedy and Johnson and their Secretary of Defense.17 He quickly gathered around him a staff of like-minded experts who proceeded to their first task, a review of the services' outline plans called for in the secretary's directive.18
ARRIVING IN VIETNAM. 101st Airborne Division troops aboard the USNS General Le Roy Eltinge. [Photograph not included]
Although merely outlines of proposed service programs, the three plans submitted in July and August nevertheless reflected the emphasis on off-base discrimination preached by the Gesell Committee and endorsed by the Secretary of Defense.19 The plans also revealed the services' essential satisfaction with their current on-base programs, although each outlined further reforms within the military community. The Navy, for example, announced reforms in recruitment methods, and the Army planned the development of more racially equitable training programs and job assignments. All three services discussed new provisions for monitoring their equal opportunity programs, with the Army including explicit provisions for the processing of servicemen's racial complaints. And to insure the coordination of equal opportunity matters in future staff decisions, each service also announced (the Navy in a separate staff action) the formation of an equal opportunity organization in its military staff: an Equal Rights Branch in the office of the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, an Equal Opportunity Group in the Air Force's Directorate of Personnel Planning to work in conjunction with its Secretary's Committee on Equal Opportunity, and an Ad Hoc Committee in the Navy's Bureau of Personnel.
The outline plans revealed that the services entertained differing interpretations of the McNamara call for command responsibility in equal opportunity matters. The Gesell Committee had considered this responsibility of fundamental importance and wanted the local commander held accountable and his activities in this area made part of his performance rating. There was some disagreement among manpower experts on this point. How, one critic asked, could the services set up standards against which a commander's performance might be fairly judged? How could they insure that an overzealous commander might not, in the interest of a higher efficiency report, upset antidiscrimination programs that called for subtle negotiation?20 But to Chairman Gesell the equal opportunity situation demanded action, and how could this demand be better impressed on the commander than by the knowledge that his performance was being measured?21 The point of this argument, which the committee accepted was that unless personal responsibility was fixed, policies and directives on equal opportunity were lust so much rhetoric.
Only the Army's outline plan explicitly adopted the committee's controversial recommendation that "the effective performance of commanders in this area will be considered along with other responsibilities in determining his overall manner of duty performance." The Navy equivocated. Commanders would "monitor continually racial matters with a goal toward improvement." The Inspectors General of the Navy and Marine Corps were "instructed to appraise" all command procedures. The Air Force expected base commanders to concern themselves with the welfare and nondiscriminatory treatment of its servicemen when they were away from the base, but it left them considerable freedom in the matter. "The military mission is predominant," the Air Force announced, and the local commander must be given wide latitude in dealing with discrimination cases since "each community presented a different situation for which local solutions must be developed."
The decision by the Navy and Air Force to exempt commanders from explicit responsibility in equal opportunity matters came after some six months of soul searching. Under Secretary of the Navy Fay agreed with his superior that the Navy's equal opportunity "image" suffered in comparison to the other services and the percentage of Negroes in the Navy and Marine Corps left much to be desired. But when ordered by Secretary Fred Korth to develop a realistic approach to equal opportunity in consultation with the Gesell Committee, Fay's response tended to ignore service shortcomings and, most significantly, failed to fix responsibility for equal opportunity matters. He proposed to revise Navy instructions to provide for increased liaison between local commanders and community leaders and monitor civil rights cases involving naval personnel, but his response neither discussed new ways to increase job opportunities for Negroes nor mentioned making equal opportunity performance a part of the military efficiency rating system.22 His elaborate provisions for monitoring and reporting notwithstanding, his efforts appeared primarily cosmetic.
DIGGING IN. Men of M Company, 7th Marines, construct a defense bunker during "Operation Desoto," Vietnam. [Photograph not included.]
Undoubtedly, the Navy's image in the black community needed some refurbishing. Despite substantial changes in the racial composition of the Steward's Branch in recent years, Negroes continued to avoid naval service, as a special Navy investigation later found, because "they have little desire to become stewards or cooks."23 Pay believed that the shortage of Negroes was part of a general problem shared by all the services. His public relations proposals were designed to overcome the difficulty of attracting volunteers. His recommendations were approved by Secretary Korth in February 1963 and disseminated throughout the Navy and Marine Corps for execution.24 With only minor modification they were also later submitted to the Secretary of Defense as the Navy's outline plan.
Even as Fay settled on these modest changes, signs pointed to the possibility that the department's military leaders would be amenable to more substantial reform. The Chief of Naval Personnel admitted that the Gesell Committee's charges against the service were "to some extent" justified and warned naval commanders that if they failed to take a more positive approach to equal opportunity they would be ordered to take actions difficult for both the Navy and the community. Better "palatable evolutionary progress, " he counseled, than "bitter revolutionary change."25
Air Force officials had also considered the problem of command responsibility in the months before submitting their outline plan. As early as December 1962, Under Secretary Joseph V. Charyk admitted the possibility of confusion over what the policy of base commanders should be concerning off-base segregation. He proposed that the staff consider certain "minimum" actions, including "mandatory evaluation of all officers concerning their knowledge of this program and the extent to which they have complied with the policy of antidiscrimination."26 Secretary Zuckert discussed Charyk's proposal with his assistants on 23 January 1963. It was also considered by McNamara, who then passed it to the other services, calling on them to develop similar programs.27 Finally, Air Force officials discussed command responsibility in preparing their critique of Gesell Committee recommendations, and Secretary Zuckert informed Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul that "the responsibility for this [the Air Force's anti-discrimination] program will be clearly designated down to base level."28 Despite this attention, the subject of specific command responsibility was not clearly delineated in the Air Force's outline plan.
Paul ignored the critical differences in the services' outline plans when he approved all three without distinction on 13 September.29 Alfred Fitt later explained why the Department had not insisted the services adopt the committee's specific recommendations on command responsibility. Commenting on the committee's call for the appointment of a special officer at each base to transmit black servicemen's grievances to base commanders, Fitt acknowledged that most Negroes were reluctant to complain, but said the services were aware of this reluctance and had already devised means to overcome it. Problems in communication, he pointed out, were leadership problems, and commanders must be left free to find their own method of learning about conditions in their commands. As for the committee's suggestion that equal opportunity initiatives in the local community be made a consideration in the promotion of the commander, the Defense Department had temporized. Such initiatives, Fitt explained, might be considered part of the commander's total performance, but it should never be the governing factor in determining advancement.30
Yet the principle of command responsibility was not completely ignored, for Paul made his approval of the plans contingent on several additional service actions. Each service had to prepare for commanders an instruction manual dealing with the discharge of their equal opportunity responsibilities, develop an equal opportunity information program for the periodic orientation of all personnel, and institute some method of insuring that all new commanders promptly reviewed equal opportunity programs applicable to their commands. The secretary also set deadlines for putting the plans into effect. The preparation of these comprehensive regulations and manuals, however, took much longer than expected, a delay, Fitt admitted, that slowed equal opportunity progress to some extent.31 In fact, it was not until January 1965 that the last of the basic service regulations on equal opportunity was published.32
There were several reasons for the delay. The first was the protracted congressional debate over the civil rights bill. Some service officials strongly supported the stand that off-base complaints of black servicemen were chiefly the concern of the Justice Department. On a more practical level, however, the Department of Defense was reluctant to issue new directives while legislation bearing directly on discrimination affecting servicemen was being formulated. Accepting these arguments, Paul postponed the services' submission of new regulations and manuals until the act assumed final form.
The delayed publication of the service regulations could also be blamed in part on the confusion that surrounded the announcement of a new Defense policy on attendance at segregated meetings. The issue arose in early 1964 when Fitt discovered some defense employees accepting invitations to participate in segregated affairs while others refused on the basis of the secretary's equal opportunity directives. Inconsistency on such a delicate subject disturbed the civil rights deputy. The services had fortuitously avoided several potentially embarrassing incidents when officials were invited to attend segregated functions, and Fitt warned Paul that "if we don't erect a better safeguard than sheer chance we're bound somewhere, sometime soon to look foolish and insensitive."33 He wanted McNamara to issue a policy statement on the subject, admittedly a difficult task because it would be hard to write and would require White House clearance that might not be forthcoming. For the short run Fitt wanted to deal with the problem at a regular staff meeting where he could discuss the matter and coordinate his strategy without the delay of publishing new regulations.
As it turned out, anxiety over White House approval proved groundless. "The President has on numerous occasions made clear his view that Federal officials should not participate in segregated meetings," White House Counsel Lee C. White informed all department and agency heads, and he suggested that steps be taken in each department to inform all employees.34 The Deputy Secretary of Defense, Cyrus R. Vance, complied on 7 July by issuing a memorandum to the services prohibiting participation in segregated meetings. Adding to the text prepared in the White House, he ordered that this prohibition be incorporated in regulations then being prepared, a move that necessitated additional staffing of the developing equal opportunity regulations.35
Objections to the prohibition were forthcoming. Continuing on a tack he had pursued for several years, the Air Force Deputy Special Assistant for Manpower, Personnel, and Organization, James P. Goode, objected to the application of the Vance memorandum to base commanders. These men had to maintain good relations with community leaders, he argued, and good relations were best fostered by the commander's joining local community organizations such as the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce, which were often segregated. These civic and social organizations offered an effective forum for publicizing the objectives of the Department of Defense, and to forbid the commander's participation because of segregation would seriously reduce his local influence. Goode wanted the order "clarified" to exclude local community organizations from its coverage on the grounds that including them would be "detrimental to the best interests of all military personnel and their dependents and would result in a corresponding reduction in military effectiveness."36 The Defense Department would have nothing to do with the idea. Such an exception to the rule, the civil rights deputy declared, would not constitute a clarification, but rather a nullification of the order. The Air Force request was rejected.37
The confusion surrounding the publication of service regulations suggested that without firm and comprehensive direction from the Office of the Secretary of Defense the services would never develop effective or uniform programs. Service officials argued that commanders had always been allowed to execute racial policy without specific instructions. They feared popular reaction to forceful regulations, and, in truth, they were already being subjected to congressional criticism over minor provisions of the Gesell Committee's report. Even the innocuous suggestion that officers be appointed to channel black servicemen's complaints was met with charges of "snooping" and "gestapo" tactics.38
Although both the Gesell Committee and Secretary McNamara had made clear that careful direction was necessary, the manpower office of the Department of Defense temporized. Instead of issuing detailed guidelines to the services that outlined their responsibilities for enforcing the provision of the secretary's equal opportunity directive, instead of demanding a strict accounting from commanders of their execution of these responsibilities, Paul asked the services for outline plans and then indiscriminately approved these plans even when they passed over real accountability in favor of vaguely stated principles. The result was a lengthy period of bureaucratic confusion. Protected by the lack of specific instructions the services went through an Alfonse-Gaston routine, each politely refraining from commitment to substantial measures while waiting to see how far the others would go.39
The immediate test for the services' belatedly organized civil rights apparatus was the racial discrimination lingering within the armed forces themselves. The Civil Rights Commission and the Gesell Committee had been concerned with the exceptions to the services' generally satisfactory equal opportunity record. It was these exceptions, such chronic problems as underrepresentation of Negroes in some services, in the higher military grades, and in skilled military occupations, that continued to concern the Defense Department civil rights organization and the services as they tried to carry out McNamara's directive. Seemingly minor compared to the discrimination faced by black servicemen outside the military reservation, racial problems within the military family and how the services dealt with them would have direct bearing on the tranquility of the armed forces in the 1970's.
LISTENING TO THE SQUAD LEADER. Men of Company D, 21st Infantry, prepare to move out, Quang Tin Province, Vietnam. [Photograph not included.]
Two pressing needs, and obviously interrelated ones, were to attract a greater number of young blacks to a military career and improve the status of Negroes already in uniform. These were not easy, short-term tasks. In the first place the Negro, ironically in view of the services' now genuine desire to have him, was no longer so interested in joining. As explained by Defense Department civil rights officials, the past attitudes and practices of the services, especially the treatment of Negroes during World War II, had created among black opinion-makers an indifference toward the services as a vocation.40 Lacking encouragement from parents, teachers, and peers, black youths were increasingly reluctant to consider a military career. For their part the services tried to counter this attitude with an energetic public relations program.41 Encouraged by the department's civil rights experts they tried to establish closer relations with black students. They even reorganized their recruitment programs, and the Secretary of Defense himself initiated a program to attract more black ROTC cadets.42 Service representatives also worked with teachers and school officials to inform students on military career opportunities.
Enlistment depended not only on a man's desire to join but also on his ability to qualify. Following the publication of a presidential task force report on the chronic problem of high draft rejection rates, the Army inaugurated in August 1964 a Special Training and Enlistment Program (STEP), an experiment in the "military training, education, and physical rehabilitation of men who cannot meet current mental or medical standards for regular enlistment in the Army. "43 Aimed at increasing enlistments by providing special training after induction for those previously rejected as unqualified, the program provided for the enlistment of 8,000 substandard men, which included many Negroes. Before the men could be enlisted, however, Congress killed the program, citing its cost and duplication of the efforts of the Job Corps. It was not until 1967 that the idea of accepting many young men ineligible for the draft because of mental or educational deficiencies was revived when McNamara launched his Project 100,000.44
The services were unable to bring off a dramatic change in black enlistment patterns in the 1960's. With the exception of the Marine Corps, in which the proportion of black enlisted men increased 4 percent, the percentage of Negroes in the services remained relatively stationary between 1962 and 1968 (Table 24). In 1968, when Negroes accounted for 11 percent of the American population, their share of the enlisted service population remained at 8.2, with significant differences among the services. Nor did there seem much chance of increasing the number of black servicemen since the percentage of Negroes among draftees
|Year||Army||Navy||Marine Corps||Air Force|
|Officers||Enlisted Men||Officers||Enlisted Men||Officers||Enlisted Men||Officers||Enlisted Men|
and first-time enlistees was rising very slowly while black reenlistment rates, for some twenty years a major factor in holding black strength steady, began to decline (Table 25). Actually, enlistment figures for both whites and blacks declined, a circumstance usually attributed to the unpopularity of the Vietnam War, although in the midst of the war, in 1967, black first-term reenlistment rates continued to exceed white rates 2 to 1.
The low percentage of black officers, a matter of special concern to the Civil Rights Commission and the Gesell Committee as well as the civil rights organizations, remained relatively unchanged in the 1960's (see Table 24). Nor could any dramatic rise in the number of black officers be expected. Between
|Year||Army||Navy||Marine Corps||Air Force|
1963 and 1968 the three service academies graduated just fifty-one black officers, an impressive statistic only in the light of the record of a total of sixty black graduates in the preceding eighty-six years. Furthermore, there were only 116 black cadets in 1968, a vast proportional increase over former years but also an indication of the small number of black officers that could be expected from that source during the next four years (Table 26). Since cadets were primarily chosen by congressional nomination and from other special categories, little could be done, many officials assumed, to increase substantially the number of
|Academy||Class of 1969||Class of 1970||Class of 1971||Class of 1972||Total Negro||Total Attendance|
black cadets and midshipmen. An imaginative effort by Fitt in early 1964, however, proved this assumption false. Fitt got the academies to agree to take all the qualified Negroes he could find and some senators and congressmen to relinquish some of their appointments to the cause. He then wrote every major school district in the country, seeking black applicants and assuring them that the academies were truly open to all those qualified. Even though halfway through the academic year, Fitt's "micro-personnel operation," as he later called it, yielded appointments for ten Negroes. Unfortunately, his successor did not continue the effort.45
The ROTC program at predominantly black colleges had always been the chief source of black officers, but here, again, there was little hope for immediate improvement. With the exception of a large increase in the number of black Air Force officers graduating from five black colleges, the percentage of officers entering the service from these institutions remained essentially unchanged throughout the 1960's despite the services' new equal opportunity programs (Table 27). Some civil rights leaders had been arguing for years that the
TABLE 27—ARMY AND AIR FORCE COMMISSIONS GRANTED AT PREDOMINANTLY BLACK SCHOOLS
|School||Class of 1964||Class of 1965||Class of 1966||Class of 1967|
|A&T College, N.C.||24||22||10||17|
|Central State College, Ohio||29||14||26||25|
|Florida A&M College||29||15||23||15|
|Hampton University, Va.||29||34||20||19|
|Lincoln University, Pa.||19||14||16||19|
|Morgan State College, Md.||21||27||12||16|
|Prairie View A&M College, Tex.||20||27||31||38|
|South Carolina State College||16||23||24||24|
|Southern University, La.||23||37||19||21|
|Tuskegee Institute, Ala.||14||14||20||26|
|Virginia State College||21||14||18||21|
|West Virginia State College||22||19||15||14|
|Howard University, Washington, D.C.||19||37||30||23|
|Percentage of total such commissions granted||2.4||2.7||2.5||2.6|
Air Force Commissions
|School||Class of 1964||Class of 1965||Class of 1966|
|A&T College, N.C.||
|Howard University, Washington, D.C.||
|Maryland State College||
|Tennessee A&I University||
|Tuskegee Institute, Ala.||
establishment of ROTC units at predominantly black schools merely helped
perpetuate the nation's segregated college system, Fitt agreed that as
integrated education became more commonplace the number of black ROTC graduates
would increase in predominantly white colleges, but meanwhile he considered
units at black schools essential. Among the approximately 140 black colleges
without ROTC affiliation, some could possibly qualify for units, and in
February 1965 Fitt's successor, Stephen N. Shulman, called for the formation
more ROTC units as an equal opportunity measure.46 The Army responded by creating a unit at Arkansas A&M Normal College, and the Navy opened a unit at Prairie View A&M in the President's home state of Texas. Balancing the expectations implied by the formation of these new units were the growing antiwar sentiment among college students and the special competition for black college graduates in the private business community, both of which made ROTC commissions less attractive to many black students.
Chance of promotion for officers and men was one factor in judging equal treatment and opportunity in the services. A statistical comparison of the ranks of enlisted black servicemen between 1964 and 1966 reveals a steady advance (Table 28). With the exception of the Air Force, the percentage of Negroes in
|E-6 (Staff Sergeant or Petty Officer, First Class) Army||13.9||15.5||18.1|
|E-6 (Staff Sergeant or Petty Officer, First Class) Navy||4.7||5.0||5.6|
|E-6 (Staff Sergeant or Petty Officer, First Class) Marine Corps||5.0||5.3||10.4|
|E-6 (Staff Sergeant or Petty Officer, First Class) Air Force||5.3||5.6||6.6|
|O-4 (Major or Lieutenant Commander) Army||
|O-4 (Major or Lieutenant Commander) Navy||
|O-4 (Major or Lieutenant Commander) Marine Corps||
|O-4 (Major or Lieutenant Commander) Air Force||
the higher enlisted ranks compared favorably with the total black percentage in each service. The advance was less marked for officers, but here too the black share of the O-4 grade (major or lieutenant commander) was comparable with the black percentage of the service's total strength. The services could declare with considerable justification that reform in this area was necessarily a drawnout affair; promotion to the senior ranks must be won against strong competition.
The department's civil rights office forwarded to the services complaints from black servicemen who, despite the highest efficiency ratings and special commendations from commanders, failed to win promotions. "Almost uniformly," the office reported in 1965, "the reply comes back from the service that there had been no bias, no partiality, no prejudice operating in detriment on the complainant's consideration for promotion. They reply the best qualified was promoted, but this was not to say that the complainant did not have a very good record.47 While black officers might well have been subtly discriminated against in matters of promotion, they also, it should be pointed out, shared in the general inflation in efficiency ratings, common in all the services, that resulted in average officers being given "highest efficiency ratings."
In addition to complaining of direct denial of promotion opportunity, so-called "vertical mobility," some black officers alleged that their chances of promotion had been systematically reduced by the services when they failed to provide Negroes with "horizontal mobility," that is, with a wide variety of assignments and all-important command experience which would justify their future advancement. Supporting these claims, the civil rights office reported that only 5 Negroes were enrolled at the senior service schools in 1965, 4 black naval officers with command experience were on active duty, and 26 black Air Force officers had been given tactical command experience since 1950. The severely limited assignment of black Army officers at the major command headquarters, moreover, illustrated the "narrow gauge" assignment of Negroes.48 This picture seemed somewhat at variance with Deputy Assistant Secretary Shulman's assurances to the Kansas Conference on Civil Rights in May 1965 that "we have paid particular attention to the assignment of Negro officers to the senior Service schools, and to those positions of command that are so vital to officer advancement to the highest rank. "49
Since promotion in the military ranks depended to a great extent on a man's
skills, training in and assignment to vital job categories were important to
enlisted men. Here, too, the statistics revealed that the percentage of Negroes
in the technical occupations, which had begun to rise in the years after Korea,
had continued to increase but that a large proportion still held unskilled or
semiskilled military occupational specialties (Table 29). Eligibility
for the various military occupations depended to a great extent on the servicemen's
mental aptitude, with men scoring in the higher categories usually winning assignment
to technical occupations. When the Army began drafting large numbers of men
in the mid-1960's, the number of men in category IV, which included many Negroes,
began to go up. Given the fact that many Negroes with the qualifications for
technical training were ignoring the services for other vocations while the
less qualified were once again swelling the ranks, the Department of Defense
could do little to insure a fair representation of Negroes in technical occupations
or increase the number of black soldiers in higher grades. The problem tended
to feed upon itself. Not only were the statistics the bane of civil rights organizations,
but they also influenced talented young blacks to decide against a service career,
in effect creating a variation of Gresham's law in the Army wherein men of low
mentality were keeping out men of high intelligence. There seemed little to
be done, although the department's civil rights office pressed the services
to establish remedial training for category IV men so that they might become
eligible for more technical assignments.
|Group/Activity||White Number||White Percent. Dist||Black Number||Black Percent Dist.||Black Percent of Total in Each Group / Activity||Unknown Number||Total Number|
|Service & supply personnel||283,976||10.6||53,136||18.0||15.7||998||338,110|
|Miscellaneous / unknown||245,055||9.l||14,964||5.l||13.5||1,337||261,356|
If a man's assignment and promotion depended ultimately
on his aptitude category, that category depended upon his performance
in the Armed Forces Qualifying Test and other screening tests usually administered
at induction. These tests have since been widely criticized as being culturally
biased, more a test of an individual's understanding of the majority race's
cultural norms than his mental aptitude. Even the fact that the tests were
written also left them open to charges of bias. Some educational psychologists
have claimed that an individual's performance in written tests measured
his cultural and educational background, not his mental aptitude. It is
true that the accuracy of test measurements was never reassessed in light
of the subsequent performance of those tested. The services paid little
attention to these serious questions in the 1960's, yet as a Defense Department
task force studying the administration of military justice was to observe
the most important determination about a serviceman's future career (both in and out of the service) is made almost solely on the basis of the results of these tests: where he will be placed, how and whether he will be promoted during his hitch, and whether what he will learn in the service will be saleable for his post-service career.50
The Department of Defense depended on the "limited predictive capability of these tests," the task force charged, in deciding whether a serviceman was assigned to a "soft core" field, that is, given a job in such categories as transportation or supply, or whether he could enter one of the more profitable and prestigious "hard core" fields that would bring more rapid advancement.
Accurate and comprehensive testing and the measurement of acquired skills was obviously an important and complex matter, but in 1963 it was ignored by both the Civil Rights Commission and the Gesell Committee. President Kennedy, however, seemed aware of the problem. Before leaving for Europe in the summer of 1963 he called on the Secretary of Defense to consider establishing training programs keyed primarily to the special problems of black servicemen found ineligible for technical training. According to Lee White, the President wanted to use new training techniques "and other methods of stimulating interest and industry" that might help thousands of men bridge "the gap that presently exists between their own educational and cultural backgrounds and chose of the average white serviceman.''51
Because of the complexity of the problem, White agreed with Fitt that the program should be postponed pending further study, but the President's request happened to coincide with a special survey of the deficiencies and changes in recruit training then being made by Under Secretary of the Army Stephen Ailes.52 Ailes offered to develop a special off-duty training program in line with the President's request. The program, to begin on a trial basis in October 1963, would also include evaluation counseling to determine if and when trainees should be assigned to technical schools.53 Such a program represented a departure for the services, which since World War II had consistently rejected the idea frequently advanced by sociologists that the culturally, environmentally, and educationally deprived were denied equal opportunity when they were required to compete with the middle-class average.54 Although no specific, measurable results were recorded from this educational experiment, the project was eventually blended into the Army's Special Training and Enlistment Program and finally into McNamara's Project 100,000.55
Beyond considering the competence of black servicemen, the Department of Defense had to face the possibility that discrimination was operating at least in some cases of assignment and promotion. Abolishing the use of racial designations on personnel records was one obvious way of limiting such discrimination, and throughout the mid-1960's the department sought to balance the conflicting demands for and against race labeling. Along with the integration of military units in the 1950's, the services had narrowed their multiple and cumbersome definition of races to a list of five groups. Even this list, a compromise drawn up by the Defense Department's Personnel Policy Board, was criticized. Reflecting the opinion of the civil rights forces, Evans declared that the definition of five races and twelve subcategories was scientifically inaccurate, statistically complicated, and racially offensive. He wanted a simple "white nonwhite" listing of servicemen.56 The subject continued to be discussed throughout the 1960's, the case finally going to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, the ultimate authority on government forms. In August 1969 the director announced a uniform method for defining the races in federal statistics. The collectives "Negro and Other Races," "All Other Races," or "All Other" would be acceptable to designate minorities; the terms "White," "Negro," and "Other Races" would be acceptable in distinguishing between the majority, principal minority, and other races.57
It was the use to which these definitions were put more than their number that had concerned civil rights leaders since the 1950's. Under pressure from civil rights organizations, some congressmen, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the services began to abandon some of the least justifiable uses of racial designations, principally those used on certain inductees' travel orders, reassignment orders, and reserve rosters.58 But change was not widespread, and as late as 1963 the services still distinguished by race in their basic personae! records, casualty reports, statistical and command strength reports, personnel control files, and over twenty-five other departmental forms.59 They continued to defend the use of racial designations on the grounds that measurement of equal opportunity programs and detection of discrimination patterns depended on accurate racial data.60 Few could argue with these motives, although critics continued to question the need for race designations on records that were used in assignment and promotion processes. When public opposition developed to the use of racial entries on federal forms in general, the President's Committee on Equal Opportunity appointed a subcommittee in 1963 under Civil Service Chairman John W. Macy, Jr., to investigate. After much deliberation this group conducted a statistical experiment within the Department of Agriculture to discover whether employees could be identified by racial groups in a confidential manner separate from other personnel data.61
SUPPLYING THE SEVENTH FLEET. USS Procyon crewmen rig netload of supplies for a warship. [Photograph not included.]
The civil rights staff of the Defense Department was also interested in further limiting the use of race in departmental forms. In April 1963 Assistant Secretary Paul ordered a review of military personnel records and reporting forms to determine where racial entries were included unnecessarily.62 His review uncovered twenty-five forms used in common by the services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense that contained racial designations. On 3 March 1964 Paul discreetly ordered the removal of race designations on all but nine of these forms, those concerning biostatistical, criminal, and casualty figures.63 His order did not, however, extend to another group of forms used by individual services for their own purposes, and later in the year Fitt drafted an order that would have eliminated all racial designations in the services except an entry for data processing systems and one for biostatistical information. The directive also would have allowed racial designations on forms that did not identify individuals, arranged for the disposition of remains and casualty reporting, described fugitives and other "wanted" types, and permitted other exceptions granted at the level of the Assistant Secretary of Defense or that of the service secretary. Finally it would have set up a system for purging existing records and removing photographs from promotion board selection folders.64 The services strongly objected to a purge of existing records on the grounds of costliness, and they were particularly opposed to the removal of photographs. Photographs were traditional and remained desirable, Deputy Under Secretary of the Army Roy K. Davenport explained, because they were useful in portraying individual physical characteristics unrelated to race.65 Davenport added, however, that photographs could be eliminated from promotion board materials.
These proposals marked a high point in the effort to simplify and reduce the use of racial designations by the Department of Defense. Although several versions of Fitt's 1964 draft order were discussed in later years, none was ever published.66 Nor did the Bureau of the Budget, to which the matter was referred for the development of a government-wide policy, publish any instructions. In fact, by the mid-l960's an obvious trend had begun in the Department of Defense toward broader use of racial indicators but narrower definition of race.
Several changes in American society were responsible for the changes. The need for more exact racial documentation overcame the argument for removing racial designations, for the civil rights experts both within and outside the department demanded more detailed racial statistics to protect and enlarge the equal opportunity gains of the sixties. The demand was also supported by representatives of the smaller racial minorities who, joining in the civil rights revolution, developed a self-awareness that made detailed racial and ethnic statistics mandatory. The shift was made possible to a great extent by the change in public opinion toward racial minorities. As one civil rights official later noted, the change in attitude had caused black servicemen to reconsider their belief that detrimental treatment necessarily followed racial identification. 67 Ironically, just a decade after the McNamara directive on equal opportunity, a departmental civil rights official, himself a Negro, was defending the use of photographs in the selection process on the grounds that such procedures were necessary in any large organization where individuals were relatively unknown to their superiors.68 So strong had the services' need for black officers become, it could be argued, that a promotion board's knowledge of a candidate's race redounded to the advantage of the black applicants. For whatever reason, the pressure to eliminate racial indicators from personnel forms had largely disappeared at the end of the 1960's.
The Gesell Committee's investigations also forced the Department of Defense to consider the possibility of discrimination in the rarefied area of embassy and special mission assignments and the certainty of discrimination against black servicemen in local communities near some overseas bases. Concerning the former, the staff of the civil rights deputy concluded that such assignments were voluntary and based on special selection procedures. Race was not a factor except for three countries where assignments were "based on politically ethnic considerations."69 Nevertheless, Fitt began to discuss with the services ways to attract more qualified black volunteers for assignments to attaché, mission, and military assistance groups.
The department was less responsive to the Gesell Committee's recommendations on racial restrictions encountered off base overseas. The services, traditionally, had shunned consideration of this matter, citing their role as guests. When the Department of Defense outlined the commander's responsibility regarding off-base discrimination overseas, it expressly authorized commanders to impose sanctions in foreign communities, yet just five weeks later the services clarified the order for the press, explaining that sanctions would be limited to the United States.70 A spokesman for the U.S. Army in Germany admitted that discrimination continued in restaurants and bars, adding that such discrimination was illegal in Germany and was limited to the lowest class establishments.71 Supporting these conclusions was a spate of newspaper reports of segregated establishments in certain areas of Okinawa and the neighborhood around an Army barracks near Frankfurt, Germany.72
Despite these continuing press reports, the services declared in mid-1965 that the "overwhelming majority" of overseas installations were free of segregation problems in housing or public accommodations. One important exception to this overwhelming majority was reported by General Paul Freeman, the commander of U.S. Army Forces in Europe. He not only admitted that the problem existed in his command but also concluded that it had been imported from the United States. The general had met with Gerhard Gesell and subsequently launched a special troop -indoctrination program in Europe on discrimination in public accommodations. He also introduced a voluntary compliance program to procure open housing.73
The Gesell Committee had repeatedly asserted that discrimination existed only in areas near American bases, and its most serious manifestations were "largely inspired by the attitude of a minority of white servicemen" who exerted social pressure on local businessmen. It was, therefore, a problem for American forces, and not primarily one for its allies. The civil rights office, however, preferred to consider the continuing discrimination as an anti-American phenomenon rather than a racial problem.74 Fitt and his successor seemed convinced that such discrimination was isolated and its solution complex because of the difficulty in drawing a line between the attitudes of host nations and American GI's. Consequently, the problem continued throughout the next decade, always low key, never widespread, a problem of black morale inadequately treated by the department.
The failure to solve the problem of racial discrimination overseas and, indeed, the inability to liquidate all remaining vestiges of discrimination within the military establishment, constituted the major shortfall of McNamara's equal opportunity policy. With no attempt to shift responsibility to his subordinates,75 McNamara later reflected with some heat on the failure of his directive to improve treatment and opportunities for black servicemen substantially and expeditiously: "I was naive enough in those days to think that all I had to do was show my people that a problem existed, tell them to work on it, and that they would then attack the problem. It turned out of course that not a goddamn thing happened."76
Although critical of his department's performance, McNamara would probably admit that more than simple recalcitrance was involved. For example, the services' traditional opposition to outside interference with the development of their personnel policies led naturally to their opposition to any defense programs setting exact command responsibilities or dictating strict monitoring of their racial progress. Defense officials, respecting service attitudes, failed to demand an exact accounting. Again, the services' natural reluctance to court congressional criticism, a reluctance shared by McNamara and his defense colleagues, led them all to avoid unpopular programs such as creating ombudsmen at bases to channel black servicemen's complaints. As one manpower official pointed out, all commanders professed their intolerance of discrimination in their commands, yet the prospect of any effective communication between these commanders and their subordinates suffering such discrimination remained unlikely.77 Again defense officials, restrained by the White House from antagonizing Congress, failed to insist upon change.
Finally, while it was true that the services had not responded any better to McNamara's directive than to any of several earlier and less noteworthy calls for racial equality within the military community, it was not true that the reason for the lack of progress lay exclusively with the service. Against the background of the integration achievements of the previous decade, a feeling existed among defense officials that such on-base discrimination as remained was largely a matter of detail. Even Fitt shared the prevailing view. "In three years of close attention to such matters, I have observed [no] . . . great gains in on-base equality," because, he explained to his superior, "the basic gains were made in the 1948-1953 period."78 It must be remembered that discrimination operating within the armed forces was less tractable and more difficult to solve than the patterns of segregation that had confronted the services of old or the off-base problems confronting them in the early 1960's. The services had reached what must have seemed to many a point of diminishing returns in the battle against on-base discrimination, a point at which each successive increment of effort yielded a smaller result than its predecessor.
No one—not the Civil Rights Commission, the Gesell Committee, the civil rights organizations, and, judging from the volume of complaints, not even black servicemen themselves—seriously tried to disabuse these officials of their satisfaction with the pace of reform. Certainly no one equated the importance of on-base discrimination with the blatant off-base discrimination that had captured everyone's attention. In fact, problems as potentially explosive as the discrimination in the administration of military justice were all but ignored during the 1960's.79
USAF GROUND CREW, TAN SON NHUT AIR BASE, VIETNAM, relaxes over cards in the alert tent. [Photograph not included.]
The sense of satisfaction that pervaded Fitt's comment, however understandable, was lamentable because it helped insure that certain inequities in the military community would linger. The failure of Negroes to win skilled job assignments and promotions, for example, would remain to fester and contribute significantly to the bitterness visited upon a surprised Department of Defense in later years. In brief, because the services had become a model of racial equality when judged by contemporary standards, the impulse of almost all concerned was to play down the reforms still needed on base and turn instead to the pressing and spectacular challenges that lay in wait outside the gates.
2See Ltr, J. Francis Pohlhous, Counsel, Washington Bureau, NAACP, to SecDef, 5 Aug 63, ASD (M) 291.2; TelB, NAACP Commanders to SecDef, DA IN 886952, ASD (M) 334 Equal Opportunity in Armed Forces (21 Jul 63); Ltr, Juanita Mitchell, President, Baltimore Branch, NAACP, to SecDef, 1I May G4, Copy in CMH. see also New York Times, July 23, 1463.
3See Ltrs, DASD (CR) to J. Francis Pohlhous, 15 Aug and 6 sep 63; Albert Fritz, Utah slouch, NAACP, 29 Aug 63; and Juanita Mitchell, 18 Mar 64. see also Lu, DASD (civ Pers, Industrial Relations, and Civil Rights) to Moses Newsom, Afro-American Newspapers, 2 Feb 65. copies of all in CMH.
4Charles Moskos, "Findings on American Military Establishment', (Northeastern University, 1967), quoted in Yarmolinsky, The Military Establishment, p. 343.
5For many examples Of then racial complaints and their disposition, see DASD (CR) files, 1963-64 especially Access Nos. 68-A-1006 and 68-A-1033.
6The Assistant Secretary Or Defense (Manpower) prepared a monthly compilation Of all discrimination cases in the Department Of Defense involving civilian employees. Originally requested by then vice President Lyndon Johnson in his capacity as chairman of the Presidents committee on Equal Opportunity in Employment in June 1962, the reports were continued after the Gesell committee disbanded. The report for November 1963, for example, listed 144 cases Of "Contractor Complaints', investigated and adjudicated and 159 cases of "In-House Complaints" being processed in the Department Of Defense. see Memo, ASD (M) for SA et al., 20 Dec 63, ASD (M) 291.2.
7Norman S. Paul succeeded Carlisle Runge as Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower) on 8 August 1962.
8DOD Dir 5120.36, 26 Jul 63. For an extended discussion of the functions of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower) and his civil rights deputy, see Memo, DASD (CR) for Mr. Paul, 21 Sep 65, sub: Policy Formulation, Planning and Action in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Civil Rights), 26 July 1963-26 September 1965, ASD (M) 291.2. This significant document, a progress report on civil rights in the first two years of McNamara's new program, is an important source for much of the following discussion and will be referred to hereafter as Paul Memo.
9DOD News Release 1057-63, 29 Jul 63.
10Memo, ASD (M) for DASD (Education) et al., 23 Jan 63, sub: Coordination of All Matters Related to Racial Problems, ASD (M) 291.2.
11Evan's predecessors included Emmett J. Scott, Special Assistant to the Secretary of War, 1917-19; William H. Hastie, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of War, 1940-43; Truman K. Gibson, 1944-46; and Marcus H. Ray, 1946-47. Evans left Army employ to join the staff of the Secretary of Defense in 1947. See Memo for Red, Counselor to ASD (M), 1 Mar 62, ASD (M) 291.2.
12Before assuming the manpower position, Norman Paul was the chief Of legislative liaison for the Department Of Defense. For a critique of the work of the ASD (M) incumbents in the racial field, see O'Brien's interview with Gilpatric, 5 May 70, J. F. Kennedy Library.
13For a discussion of the effect of the proliferation of assistants in the manpower office, see USAF oral history interview with Evans, 24 Apr 73.
14The incumbents were Alfred A. Fitt, Stephen N. Shulman, Jack Moskowitz, L. Howard Bennett (acting), Frank w. Render H. Donald L. Miller, Curtis R. Smothers (acting), Stuart Broad (acting), and H. Minton Francis.
15This solution was still being recommended a decade later; see Department Of Defense, "Report Of the Task Force on the Administration Of Military Justice in the Armed Forces, " 30 Nov 72, vol. 1, pp. 5 1, 112. see also Interv, author with L.. Howard Bennett (former DASD [CR1), 13 Dec 73, CMH files.
16Interv, author with Col George R. H. Johnson, Deputy, Plans and Policy, DASD (Equal Opportunity), 9 Aug 73, CMH files.
17Ltr, DASH (CR) to Gesell, 28 Jul 64, Gesell Collection. J. F. Kennedy Library.
18Interv, author with Jordan, 7 Jun 72.
19Memos Dep to SecAF for Manpower, Personnel, and Organization for ASD (M), 15 Aug 63, sub Implementation of DOD Directive 5120.36; SA for ASD (M), 15 Aug 63, sub Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces; Under SecNav for ASD (M), 15 Aug 63, sub Outline Plan for Implementing Department of Defense Directive 5120.36, "Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces," dated 26 Jul 63. All in ASD (M) 291.2.
20Interv, author with Davenport, 2 Aug 73, CMH files.
21Interv, author with Gesell, 13 May 72.
22Memo, Under SecNav for SecNav, 7 Feb 63, sub: Equal Opportunity in the Navy and Marine Corps, SecNav file 5420, GenRecsNav.
23Memo, David M. Clinard,
Spec Asst, for SecNav, 11 Oct 63, sub: Interviews With Negro Personnel
at Andrews Air Force Base, copy in CMH.
24SecNav Instruction 5350.2A, 6 Mar 63; Personal Ltr, SecNav to All Flag and General Officers et al., 26 Mar 63, copy in CMH; SecNav Notice 5350, 3 Apr 63; AlNav 28, 6 Sep 63. See also Cmdt, USMC, Report of Progress—Equal Opportunity in the United States Marine Corps (ca. 30 Jun 63), Hist Div HQMC; Memo, Chief, NavPers, for Under SecNav, 20 May 63, sub: Interim Progress Report on Navy Measures . . . SecNav file 5420, GenRecsNav.
25Ltr, Chief, NavPers, to CONUS District Cmdrs et al., 22 Apr 63, attached to Memo, Chief, NavPers, for Distribution List, 24 Apr 63, sub: President's Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces, SecNav file 5420, GenRecsNav.
26Memo, Actg SecAF CofSAF, 8 Dec 62, sub: Anti-Discrimination Policy in the Military Service, SecAF files.
27Memo, SecDef for SA and Navy, 4 Mar 63, sub: Anti-Discrimination Policy in the Military Service, copy in CMH. McNamara received the Air Force document from Charyk through Yarmolinsky. See Memo, Benjamin Fridge, Spec Asst for Manpower and Reserve Forces, for SecAF, 4 Mar 63, sub: Anti-Discrimination Policies; see also Memo, Asst Vice CofS, USAF, for SecAF, 26 Feb 63, same sub, 687-63; both in SecAF files.
28Memo, SecAF for ASD (M), 10 Jul 63, sub: Air Force Response to the Gesell Committee Report, ASD (M) 291.2.
29Memo, ASD (M) for Under SA et al., 13 Sep 63, sub: DOD Directive 5120.36, 26 Jul 63, Equal Opportunity, ASD (M) 291.2.
30Alfred B. Fitt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Civil Rights), "Remarks Before Civilian Aides Conference of the Secretary of the Army," 6 Mar 64, copy in CMH.
31Ltr, DASD (Civil Rights) to Gesell, 30 Apr 64, ASD (M) 291.2.
32AR 600-21, 2 Jul 64 (superseded by AR 600-21, 18 Mar 65); AFR 35-78, 19 Aug 64 (superseded in May 71); SecNav Instructions 5350.6, Jan 65, 5350.5A, 16 Dec 65, and 5370.7, 4 Mar 65. See also NAVSO P2483, May 65, "A Commanding Officer's Guide for Establishing Minority Community Relations."
33Memo, DASD (CR) for Paul, 10 Feb 64, sub: Official Attendance at Segregated Meetings, ASD (M) 291.2.
34Memo, Assoc Spec Counsel to President for Heads of Departments and Agencies, 12 Jun 64, sub. Further Participation at Segregated Meetings, copy in CMH.
35Memo, Dep SecDef for Secys of Military Departments et al., 7 Jul 64, sub: Federal Participation at Segregated Meetings, SD 291.2. The Army's regulation, published on 2 July, five days before Secretary Vance's memorandum, was republished on 18 May 1965 to include the prohibition against segregated meetings and other new policies. The Navy prepared a special Secretary of Navy instruction (5720.38, 30 Jul 1964) on the subject.
36Memo, James P. Goode for Dep SecDef, 29 Sep 64, sub: Federal Participation at Segregated Meetings, copy in CMH.
37Draft Memo, DASD (Civ Pers, Indus Rels, and CR) for Dep for Manpower, Personnel, and Organization, USAF, 7 Oct 64, sub: Federal Participation at Segregated Meetings. The memorandum was not actually dispatched, and a note on the original draft discloses that after discussion between the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower) the rejection of the Air Force request was "handled verbally." Copy of the memo in CMH.
38Fitt, "Remarks Before Civilian Aides Conference of the Secretary of the Army," 6 Mar 64.
39Interv, author with Evans, 23 Jul 73, CMH files.
41For accounts of Navy and Marine Corps attempts to attract more Negroes, see Memos: Smedberg for Under SecNav, 20 May 63, sub: Interim Progress Report on Navy Measures in the Area of Equality of Opportunity in the Armed Forces; Under SecNav for SecNav, 15 Jul 63, sub: First Report of Progress in the Area of Equal Opportunity in the Navy Department; E. Hidalgo, Spec Asst to SecNav, for L. Howard Bennett, Principal Asst for Civil Rights, OASD (CR), 1 Oct 65, sub: Summary of Steps Deemed Necessary to Increase Number of Qualified Negro Officers and Enlisted Personnel on the Navy/Marine Corps Team, SecNav file 5420 (1179). All in GenRecsNav. See also Memos, Marine Aide to SecNav for CofS, USMC, 5 Aug 63, sub: Equal Opportunity in the Armed Services, and ACofS, Gel, USMC, for CofS, USMC, 17 Aug 63, same sub, both in MC files. For OSD awareness of the problem, see Stephen N. Shulman, "The Civil Rights Policies of the Department of Defense, " 4 May 65, copy in CMH.
42Memo, SecDef for Educators, 6 Oct 65, sub: Equal Opportunity at the Service Academies of the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force, SD 291.2.
43DoD News Release, 13 Aug 64. See the President's Task Force on Manpower Conservation, One-Third of a Nation: A Report on Young Men Found Unqualified for Military Service (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1964). Kennedy established the task force in September 1963. Its members included the Secretaries of Labor, Defense, and Health, Education and Welfare and the Director of Selective Service.
44McNamara, The Essence of Security, pp. 131-38. See also Bahr, "The Expanding Role of the Department of Defense," ch. V.
45Ltr, Fitt to author, 21 Oct 76, CMH files.
46Fitt left the civil rights office in August 1964 to become the General Counsel of the Army. At his departure the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civil Rights was consolidated with that of the Deputy for Civilian Personnel and Industrial Relations. The incumbent of the latter position, Stephen Shulman, became Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel, Industrial Relations, and Civil Rights. Shulman, a graduate of Yale Law School and former Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Labor, had been closely involved in the Defense Department's equal opportunity program in industrial contracts.
49Shulman, "The Civil Rights Policies of the Department of Defense," 4 May 65.
50Department of Defense, "Report of the Task Force on the Administration of Military Justice in the Armed Forces," 30 NOV 72, vol. 1, p. 47.
51Memo, Asst Spec Counsel to President for SecDef, 27 Jun 63, copy in CMH.
52ACSFOR, "Annual Historical Summary, Fiscal Years 1963-64," copy in CMH; Memo, DASD (CR) for Paul, 25 sep 63, sub Training Program Keyed Primarily to the Special Problems of Negro servicemen, ASD
53Memo, Under SA for ASD (M), 14 Sep 63, sub: Training Program Keyed Primarily to the Special Problems of Negro Servicemen; Memo, ASD (M) for Asst Spec Counsel to President, 25 Sep 63; both in ASD (M) files.
54For a discussion of this argument, see [BuPers] Memo for Rcd, Capt K. J. B. Sanger, USA, 9 Oct 63, Pers 1, BuPersRecs.
55Interv, author with Davenport, ASA, Manpower (Ret.), 2 Aug 73, CMH files.
56See, for example, the following Memos: Evans for Judge Jackson, 1 Apr 63, and Mr. Jordan, 3 Sep 64, sub: Racial Designations; Douglas Dahlin for E. E. Moyers, 3 Sep 58, sub: Case History of an OSD Action James Evans for Philip M. Timpane, 10 Aug 65, sub: Race and Color-Coding. See also Memo for Rcd, Evans 15 Aug 62, sub: Racial Designations. All in DASD (CR) files.
57Bureau of the Budget, Circular No. A-46, Transmittal Memorandum No. 8, 8 Aug 69.
58See Ltr, Clarence Mitchell, NAACP, to ASD (M), 8 Jul 53; Ltr, Congressman Henry S. Reuss of Wisconsin to SecDef, 27 Sep 56; Memo, Yarmolinsky for Fitt, 29 Nov 61; Memo, Dep Under SA for ASD (M), I Dec 61, sub: Racial Designation in Special Orders; Ltr, Chmn, Cmte on Gov Operations, House of Representatives, to SA, 9 Jul 62; Memo, ASD (M) for SA, 29 Mar 51, sub: Racial Designations on Travel Orders; Memo, Chief, Mil Personnel Management Div. Gel, for Dir, Personnel Policies, 5 Aug 52, sub: Racial Designations, G-1 291.2; Memo, SecNav for ASD (M), 7 May 54, sub: Deletion of Question Regarding "Race".... Copies of all in CMH
59See Memo, TAG for Distribution, 21 Sep 62, sub: Racial Identification in Army Documents, AGAM (M) 291.2; Memo for Rcd, Evans, 20 Dec 62, sub: Racial Designations—Navy, ASD (M) 291.2; Memo, DASD (CR) for DASD (H&M) et al., 19 Feb 64, sub: Racial Designations on Department of Defense Forms, copy in CMH.
60See, for example, Ltr, Dir of Personnel Policy (OSD) to J. Francis Pohlhous, Counsel, NAACP, 6 Jul 55.
61Ltr, Director, Civil Service Commission, to Rear Adm Robert L. Moore, Chief of Industrial Relations USN, 9 Jul 63, copy in CMH.
62Memo, Spec Asst to ASD (M) for Under SA, 15 Apr 63, sub: Racial Identification on Military Records (similar memorandums were sent to the Secretaries of Navy and Air Force on the same day); Memo, ASD (M) for OASD (Comptroller) (ca. I Jun 63); both in ASD (M) 291.2. For service reviews, answers, and exchanges on the subject, see ASD (M) 68A-1006. See also Memo, SSJ [Stephen S. Jackson, Spec Asst to ASD (M)] for Valdes, OASD (M), end dames C. Evans, 11 Jun63, ASD (M) 291.2.
63Memo, DASD (CR) for DASD (Management), 3 Mar 64, sub: Elimination of Racial Designations on DD Forms (the Army adopted this DOD policy in the form of Change 1 to AR 66-21 in October 1965). See also Memo, DASD (CR) for DASD (H&M) et al., 19 Feb 64, sub: Racial Designations on Department of Defense Forms; idem for Lee C. White, 9 Jul 64. All in ASD (M) files. See also Washington Evening Star, June 22, 1964, p. A2.
64Memo, Philip M. Timpane for DASD (CR), 10 Aug 64, sub: Race on Records, ASD (M) 291.2.
65Memo, Dep Under SA for DASD
(CR), 3 Jun 64, sub: Proposed DOD Instruction Re: Use of Racial Designations
in Forms and Records and Annual Racial Distribution Report, copy in CMH.
66L. Howard Bennett, Untitled Minutes of Equal Opportunity Council Meetings on the Subject of Racial Indicators, 30 Sep 66; Memo, Bennett for Thomas Morris and Jack Moskowitz, 8 Dec 66, sub: Actions to Aid in Assuring Equality of Opportunity During Ratings, Assignment, Selection, and Promotion Processes, copies of both in CMH. Judge Bennett was the executive secretary of the Equal Opportunity Council within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, an interdepartmental working group dealing with racial indicators in September 1966 and consisting of two members from each manpower office of the services and P. M. Timpane of the DASD (Equal Opportunity) office.
67Memo, Bennett for ASD (M) and DASD (Civ Pers, Indus Rels, and CR), 8 Dec 66, copy in CMH.
68Interv, author with Johnson, 9 Aug 73.
69Memo, Exec to DASD (CR)
for DASD (CR), 20 Mar 64; see also OASD (CR), Summary of Military Personnel
Assignments in Overseas Areas; both in ODASD (CR) files. Negroes were not
the only Americans excluded from certain countries for "politically ethnic
considerations." Jewish servicemen were barred from certain Middle East
70DoD directive cited in Gesell Committee' s "Final Report," p. 7; see also New York Times, September 12, 1963.
71New York Times and Washington Post December 29, 1964
72See, for example, New York Herald Tribune, January 3, 1965; New York Times, March 29, 1964.
73Memo for Rcd, Timpane, 25 Nov 64, ODASD (CR) files.
75For an example of McNamara's extremely self-critical judgments on the subject of equal opportunity, see Stock Brown, "McNamara seen Now, Full Length," Life 64 (May 10, 1968): 78.
76Interv, author with McNamara, 11 May 72.
77Memo, William C. Bald", ODASD (CR), for DASD (CR), 8 Jut 63, ASD (M) 291 2.
78Memo, DASD (CR) for ASD (M), 2 Jul 64, copy in CMH. Emphasis not in original.
79The administration of military justice was not considered by the Civil Rights Commission nor by the Gesell Committee, although it was mentioned once by the NAACP as a cause of numerous complaints and once by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in regard to black representation on courts-martial. See NAACP, "Proposals for Executive Action to End Federal Supported Segregation and Other Forms of Racial Discrimination," submitted to the White House on 29 Aug 61, White House Central Files, J. F. Kennedy Library; Memo, Philip M. Timpane, ODASD (Civ Pers, Indus Rels, and CR) for DASD (Civ Pers, Indus Rels and CR), 23 Feb 6S, sub: Representation by Race on Courts-Martial, ODASD (Civ Pers, Indus Rels, and CR) files.
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