Segregation and Discrimination in the United States Military During World War Two

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Segregation and Discrimination in the United States Military during World War Two| |
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5/3/2010|

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Segregation and Discrimination in the United States Military during World War Two Thesis: Although the U.S. military has been a leader in desegregation and in other social matters, during World War Two fear and prejudice keep many highly qualified people from serving. This weakened every branch of the military by limiting it to a less diverse and therefore less flexible fighting force. 1. History of the U.S. Military

a. Leader in social matters
i. Inclusion of minorities
ii. Upward mobility
iii. Equal protection
b. Exclusion of certain groups
iv. Lack of upward mobility into upper ranks
v. Restriction to certain jobs
2. World War Two Minorities
c. African Americans
vi. Inclusion
1. The Draft and quotas
2. 369th Hell Fighters
3. Tuskegee Airman
vii. Port Chicago Disaster
d. Native Americans
viii. Code talkers
4. Invaluable resource
5. Creation and use
6. Top secret until middle 1968
e. Females
ix. Triumphs
7. Warfighter Squadron/WASP
8. Nurses
9. “Y” Women
10. WAAC/WAC
11. 688th Central Postal Directory
x. Failures
12. No Recognition
13. Disbanded After the War
f. Conclusion
xi. Fighting for Rights At Home
xii. Inefficiency of Racism
xiii. The Present and Future

The history of the United States military has been one of contradictions. From the American Revolution to modern times the every branch of the military has evolved into one of the most efficient fighting forces in the world. As society changes so has the military. At times, the service has been at the leading edge inclusion, but it has still dealt with the same problems of segregation, bigotry and hatred. Although the U.S. military has been a leader in desegregation and in other social matters, during World War Two fear and prejudice keep many highly qualified people from serving. This weakened every branch of the military by limiting it to a less diverse and therefore less flexible fighting force. From its inception, the U.S. military has had what today we call minority troops in service of the nation. They served and continue to serve with honor and pride in a nation that has not always treated them with the respect they deserve. Even during the American Revolutionary War Minority soldiers served in units that included black and whites, all longing for the right to self-govern. During the American Civil War free black men and former slaves joined the Union Army in large numbers after prominent black leaders including Fredrick Douglas implored them to join to insure the North’s victory and the freedom of all blacks in the United States. By the end of the war approximately 179,000 black men served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy. This equated to about 10% of the Union Army. Nearly 40,000 black soldiers died over the course of the war and many were highly decorated and respected by some of the white soldiers they served with. The United States military has also had a history of including other minorities when there was a need. Many Native Americans were used as scouts and translators by the army during its push westward. One of the most misunderstood and overlooked segment were the black officers. By the end of the Civil War the U.S. Army had some 80 black officers serving in various roles but they did not see the same extensive combat as white. President Abraham Lincoln went to great lengths to ensure the equal treatment of black soldiers captures in combat. After the Confederate Congress, in 1863, threatened to harshly punish officers of black troops and to enslave...
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