Thursday, October 16, 2008

Diversity Thursday

This sounds benign at first look, doesn't it?
Congress is urging the Coast Guard Academy to change its admissions process to fall more in line with the other service academies,
Drum-roll please,
...saying a move to a similar nomination process could help boost diversity.
Yep, nothing about increasing the effectiveness. Nothing about mission. No, only 1970s centered racist bean counting.

The Coast Guard, who has done nothing wrong, is trying to remain the sane one.
The Coast Guard is the only service to have an open application process, in which prospective cadets don’t need an endorsement from a member of Congress. Though it welcomes any recruiting help from Congress, the service is not in favor of adopting the new admissions policy, said Rear Adm. Jody Breckenridge, assistant commandant for human resources, in testimony Sept. 10 before the House Transportation subcommittee on Coast Guard and marine transportation.
“The organization does see some barriers in there. Any time you have multiple steps, it creates a barrier and, quite frankly, we are concerned many applicants won’t apply,” she said. “Our position is, we prefer the system we have today.”
They are trying to meet half-way.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen released a servicewide message in August outlining plans to improve diversity, not only at the academy but throughout the entire service, including its civilian personnel.

As part of the new initiative, every flag officer and senior executive service member is required to attend one “affinity group” conference a year, which can include organizations such as Blacks in Government or the Coast Guard Women’s Leadership Association.

Senior level officers are expected to build relationships with minority-based “institutions of higher learning.” Also, the Coast Guard is pursuing a new mentoring program with urban youth in the Baltimore area, which offers opportunities for students to visit Coast Guard cutters or aircraft in the hopes of expanding service awareness.

“Mr. Chairman, there is a new level of energy we are generating within the service that we believe will lead to innovation and new programs not being thought about today. We have stepped out smartly to take decisive action,” Breckenridge wrote in prepared testimony.

“As a former Coastie, I was first a little taken back [by the proposed admissions change], but the more I look at the diversity on the House floor ... my personal view is we would expand your pool of recruiters by 535,” said Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss. “I have at least 20 great kids vying for five spots.”
The Defense Manpower Data Center reported that in 2007 about 14 percent of Coast Guard officers, nearly 17 percent of the enlisted corps and 14 percent of the 2011 class of the Coast Guard Academy were minorities, according to Rep. Elijah Cummings, subcommittee chairman.

Breckenridge said the Coast Guard does not consider women to be minorities, so those numbers mostly include black and Hispanic service members.
But, as we know, paying the crocodile to eat you last is usually not the best choice.

They are coming after the Coast Guard Academy.
However, Cummings wasn’t completely pleased with the Coast Guard’s initiative, saying the service needs to better outline its goals to truly achieve great diversity.

“It became clear that the Coast Guard lacks clearly defined goals and measures. When an organization cannot clearly see its end destination, it becomes difficult to efficiently and effectively complete the journey,” he said in a statement released Sept. 11.
Quotas and a desire for active discrimination. Simple and to the point.

I would say more, but I can't call Congressmen names methinks.

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