CNA Releases Report on Minorities in the Marine Corps

Oct. 31, 2007

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CNA today publicly released a report on minorities' service in the Marine Corps entitled, Black and Hispanic Marines: Their Accession, Representation, Success, and Retention in the Corps. The study, conducted by CNA researchers by order of the Marine Corps Commandant, looked at the make up of the Corps "to ensure that enlisted Marines and officers reflect the racial and ethnic characteristics of broader American society."

"There is a strong commitment to maintaining a diverse Marine Corps," said Aline Quester CNA's Marine Corps Manpower team leader. "This report provides the analyses and insights that will help the Corps to meet that commitment."

According to the report, "The degree to which the Marine Corps can reflect the diversity of American society depends on its ability to access, retain, and promote qualified black and Hispanic individuals." The study examined trends in those areas and found:

In the areas of retention and quality of life for black enlisted Marines: Although fewer blacks are entering the Marine Corps than in the past, the retention behavior of enlistees indicates that they have found satisfying careers in the Corps, with black Marines reenlisting at substantially higher rates than other Marines (from 1980 to 2006, blacks reenlisted at higher average rates at every reenlistment point than members of any other race/ethnic group). The study also found that black Marines are more likely to stay in the Corps for a full career. This is likely due to the fact that the Corps offers a good quality of life-military retirement and medical benefits provide economic security, access to several educational benefits helps individuals achieve financial security even if they separate from the Corps before retirement, and marriage rates for black Marines are comparable to those of their white counterparts.

In the areas of leadership and promotion opportunities: The Marine Corps offers black and Hispanic men and women many opportunities to lead others. To determine the prevalence of these opportunities, researchers examined the representation of black and Hispanic Marines in the Corps' top enlisted rank (E9). The study found that black and Hispanic Marines constitute a larger share of the Marine Corps' top enlisted ranks than their accession shares would suggest. Hispanic Marine Corps officers have exceeded their accession shares at all field grade and general officer levels -- in short, they have been promoted and retained better than others. Black officers have exceeded their accession shares as Majors and as General Officers, while at the rank of Lt. Colonel and Colonel, black accession shares somewhat exceed current incumbent shares.

In the areas of accession and representation: The share of black enlisted accessions has fallen over time, and currently is below the black share of the U.S. population, and the representation of blacks in the enlisted force also has fallen. Conversely, the share of enlisted Marine accessions that are Hispanic has increased and high Hispanic representation among enlisted accessions has contributed to a growing share of the enlisted force that is Hispanic. (Among Hispanics, both the accession and representation shares currently exceed the Hispanic share of the U.S. population.)

To view the CNA report in its entirety, go to

The CNA Corporation is a non-profit institution that operates on the principle of conducting honest, accurate, actionable research and analysis to inform the important work of public sector leaders. For more than 60 years we have helped bring creative solutions to a vast array of complex public interest challenges. For more information, visit


Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire Association LLC. All Rights Reserved.