Over 100 Army officers speak out in favor of affirmative action at West Point
Over 100 U.S. Army officers have come out in support of affirmative action at the military academy at West Point. The group wants a federal judge to allow race-conscious admissions to continue at the school.
The 107 current and retired officers said diversity at the prestigious school is crucial — to protect national security and to help train future officers to be effective leaders of a multiracial fighting force.
“As our enemies become increasingly sophisticated, and warfighting becomes increasingly multidimensional, the U.S. Army needs soldiers with unique ways of solving problems,” said West Point graduate Cpt. Robert Moser in a statement. “In a homogenous force, groupthink increases and creativity decreases, all bad news when we try to win wars.”
In court documents filed this week, the West Point graduates gave first-hand accounts about the benefits of a diverse officer corps, arguing that the Army’s leadership needs to reflect the diversity of enlisted soldiers.
"Diversity in the officer corps also helps the Army recruit from a diverse population," according to the brief, which was filed by Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection on behalf of the officers. "And it prevents the dangerous resentment between enlisted soldiers of color and white officers that plagued the Army before race conscious admissions were introduced at West Point."
Students for Fair Admissions, the same group that won the Supreme Court case this summer that struck down affirmative action at civilian universities, sued West Point in September. West Point has defended its admissions policy, citing national security and unit cohesion.
The National Association of Black Military Women, the ACLU and the NAACP have filed similar briefs in support of affirmative action at the academy.