Mike Kueber's Blog

March 16, 2012

Navy Seals and affirmative action

Filed under: Culture,Issues,Military,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 1:16 pm
Tags: , ,

Ever since the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the Navy Seals have been recognized as the ultimate warriors.  During a recent Happy Hour, a friend noted that 90% of the Seals were white.  That didn’t sound right because the U.S. military has been a leading proponent of diversity for many years. 

When I went to the internet, however, I confirmed that my friend’s fact was true (90% of the officers and 80% of the enlisted men).  Inexplicably, the Navy has allowed its premier fighting team to become more white than an NBA team is black.  But the Navy is moving now to end this travesty.  According to a Time magazine blog, the Navy was soliciting a private contract to help expose this opportunity to non-whites in order to achieve more SEAL diversity.  The solicitation read as follows:

  • Gaps exist in minority representation in both officer and enlisted ranks for Special Warfare operators. Diverse officers represent only ten percent of the officer pool (for example, African Americans represent less than 2% of SEAL officers). Diverse enlisted SEALs account for less than twenty percent of the total SEAL enlisted population. Naval Special Warfare is committed to fielding a force that represents the demographics of the nation it serves. This contract initiative seeks effective strategies to introduce high potential candidates from diverse backgrounds to the opportunities available in Naval Special Warfare.

This is the kind of affirmative action that I endorse – i.e., outreach.  There is no obvious reason why non-whites would not make as good a SEAL as whites do.  But I take issue with the comment that the Navy is committed to “fielding a force that represents the demographics of the nation that it serves.”  That sounds like a quota, and quotas have no place in the competitive process of selecting the most qualified individuals.




  1. i want effective seals, i don’t care about the racial or gender outcomes in the process of getting to effective seals…

    my issue with the left often comes back to this point. i don’t expect outcomes to be equal. i expect opportunities to be equal. in my eye the left jacks with too many things to insure that outcomes are equal – a highly unnatural result.


    Comment by Q — March 18, 2012 @ 3:50 pm | Reply

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