The Influence of Military Policy on Black Men
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Today as never before, blacks are serving their nation in uniform. At the end of 1981 almost one out of every five black males born between 1957 and 1962 had entered military service. The armed forces offers its soldiers an uncommon blend of benefits and burdens. First, as the nation’s largest employer and trainer it supplies much-needed jobs. The military also prepares men to compete in the civilian labor market. Research has shown that black veterans score higher than black nonveterans on measure of labor market success. Also, in the field of race relations the military s considered a progressive institution. Yet, service in the armed forces brings with it risks to life and limb. For this reason, special attention should be given to norms of fairness and equity when evaluating armed forces policy. Most policy research explores outputs. For example, when studying blacks and health policy one might a health output measure such as infant mortality. The armed forces is unique in that its output defense is shared equally by all regardless of race. Hence, this chapter will focus on how military policy affect black men who serve. Specifically, the chapter will examine the military recruitment process and blacks and the effects of such internal policies.