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Roles of the African American Soldiers in the Korean War - Essay Example

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The paper "Roles of the African American Soldiers in the Korean War" discusses that Black soldiers took on a larger role because of a surplus in the supply of their labor, a surplus that would have gone to waste had they been assigned to segregated units used in inefficient ways…
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Roles of the African American Soldiers in the Korean War
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Download file to see previous pages In 1950, nearly eight percent of the total military force standing in Korea was comprised of African-American servicemen, equally approximately one hundred thousand individuals willing to fight and possibly die for their country. The country which finally gave these men this opportunity, at this time, was undergoing radical change at home and abroad in wartime. As African-Americans sought and acquired more social and economic freedom, and the consequent political power, military officials realized the underutilization of Black soldiers. As a result, the Korean War marks for the first time a major role granted to African-Americans to contribute in a significant fashion to the military endeavors of the United States.
That which most defines the African-American presence in the military up to the Korean War was the 24th Infantry Regiment. The 24th was a unit of all Black men that had descended through the ages from 1869 and with a long legacy of combat in the Spanish-American War and both World Wars. At the beginning of the Korean War, the unit was dispatched to the peninsula for “minor police action” (GlobalSecurity.org). But after hostilities escalated in the conflict, things began to change for the 24th and it was no longer feasible to keep it together. By 1951, the unit was completely disbanded for the purposes of ending segregation in the military, following Executive Order 9981, issued in 1948 that by law desegregated the entire United States military (Truman Library).
The Order is a historic policy insofar as it called for “equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin”, and established a presidential committee to implement this ambitious goal of eliminating segregated units. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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