A military report finds that there is an increase in racial tension on military bases throughout the world.
1970 (Jan 24)
In a report released in Saigon, South Vietnam, army investigators found that "all indications point toward an increase in racial tension" on military bases throughout the world. The investigation was ordered by U.S. army chief of staff general William C. Westmoreland, and it was presented to the joint chiefs of staff in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1969. Congressmen and military commanders in the U.S. and abroad also received the report that said, "Black soldiers seem to have lost faith in the army system," and predicted increased racial problems unless "aggressive command action, firm but impartial discipline, and good leadership can prevent physical confrontation of racial groups." The study concluded that the army had "a race problem because our country has a race problem." Yet there were conditions within the army that possibly contributed to unrest among Black soldiers. For instance, according to the report, the number of Black junior officers was decreasing although there were more Black non-commissioned officers of lower rank. The report also found that on European bases, where one out of eight soldiers was Black, a disproportionate one out of four non-judicial punishments was imposed on a Black soldier.