Critical Analysis of Diversity Management in the United States Army Recruiting Command

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Executive Summary

In this paper, we will highlight the United States Army Recruiting Command’s (USAREC) diversity management practices. USAREC is responsible for the recruiting of young men and women to join the US Army. For fiscal year 2018, USAREC, did not attain their recruiting goals. A closer look at their diversity management practices may give some insight on how they possibly missed to reach their objective. We will evaluate potential limitations of the organizational theories and practices utilized by the command and see if they align with current theories and strategies set forth by our studies in MSA 604. We will also explore how the United States Army was able to globalize their recruiting presence.


The United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) can trace its origins back to 1775, when the continental United States needed soldiers to help fight the British in the Revolutionary War. In 1822, Major General Jacob Jennings Brown started the General Recruiting Services. During that time, recruiting was a task for the regimental recruiting parties, normally they recruited in their regional areas.

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Today the recruiting process is a global function and each year the command is given a goal to recruit a certain amount of people. The command unfortunately missed their goal for fiscal year 2018. The goal was to reach 76,500, and the command managed to recruit only 70,000 soldiers. The reserve component to include the National Guard missed their goal by 12,500. The Air Force Navy and Marines met their recruiting goal for the fiscal year 2018.

Top Army official stated they would not lower the standard to reach the recruiting goal. The original mission for the command was to recruit approximately 80,000, but that number was lowered in April to 76,500, because more soldiers that are currently serving re-enlisted. The command is now assessing their performance and formulating new strategies to ensure they do not miss their recruiting goals for the next fiscal year.

We will review strategies that may be beneficial for USAREC to utilize or improve upon. Every business that wants to be successful should have a diverse talent pool and a well thought out strategic business plan in order to reach their goals.

Diversity Management

Diversity management is defined as the act of addressing and supporting diverse lifestyles and personal characteristics within a distinct group. Organizational activities includes training the group and providing support for the acceptance of and respect for various racial, cultural, societal, geographic, economic and political backgrounds.

The United States Army Recruiting Command is a very diverse organization. The command realizes that there is strength in diversity. The benefits of having a diverse organization are that diverse backgrounds can offer an array of different aptitudes, skills, and experiences, that may assist the organization and their overall organizational performance. Also, some cross training of skills can be valuable when it comes to assisting each other.

By having diversity in the workforce this can also inspire innovation. Working with people of different experiences, knowledges and working styles, artistic ideas that can form from bouncing ideas from each other and offering feedback and suggestions. An organization that encourages diversity will attract an array of applicants to their vacancies, because it will be viewed as a more open-minded organization and will appeal to individuals from all walks of life.

An organization that puts diversity and inclusion at the forefront may see an increase in organizational productivity and performance. Employees are more likely to feel comfortable and happy in an environment where inclusivity is a priority. Equality is important for reassuring workers from all backgrounds to feel assured in their capability and reach their goals. Although practicing diversity appears to be a good thing, it is only superficial if it is not connected with inclusion.


Diversity and inclusion are critical fundamentals of every recruitment and retention strategy. Inclusion is defined as the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success (SHRM, 2019). Diversity denotes to the traits and characteristics that make people different and inclusion refers to the actions and social norms that make people feel welcome. Not only is inclusivity crucial for diversity efforts to succeed but, creating an inclusive philosophy will be beneficial for employee engagement and productivity.

Diversity and Inclusion in the U.S. Army

Minorities have volunteered or been drafted for service since the time of the American Revolution however, the Army was a segregated organization up until the mid-20th century. The widely accepted separate but equal way of life of the time, these segregation policies were not considered to be unfair by many senior military and government officials. However, civil rights activists did not agree with this notion, and rallied for complete racial unification across all parts of society, to include all branches of the Department of Defense. Even as rules and regulations transformed over time to eradicate occupational and assignment barriers to racial and ethnic minorities, concerns about discrimination and equal opportunity have persisted.

Given the U.S. Army’s exclusive role in society there are additional reasons that diversity could be of value within their organization. The U.S. Army has not always been a diverse organization. When the military first originated it only allowed white males to join. It was not until January 1, 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that blacks were able to join the military. This was a clear example of having a diverse organization without inclusion. Although blacks were able to join, they were not allowed to participate in its full capacity. They held positions such as cooks, maintenance and other quartermaster positions.

Women were also not allowed to join the Army. It was not until 1948, when women could join the Army. President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Service Integration Act, which allowed women to serve as full permanent members of the Armed Forces. Since the Army’s inception, one can see the Army has made tremendous strides to be more inclusive and diverse.

Diversity is a fundamental value of an egalitarian and multicultural society and organizations should seek diversity. From a human resource perception, diversity is typically studied regarding its impact on group dynamics and other factors that contribute to organizational performance. Two key factors that have been studied in both the civilian and military context are cohesion and effectiveness.

There have been many efforts by Congress and the Administration to assess diversity, equal opportunity, and inclusion across the federal workforce. In the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009, Congress approved the making of a Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC) tasked with conducting a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of policies that provide opportunities for the promotion and advancement of minority members of the Armed Forces, including minority members who are senior officers (Diversity,Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity in the Armed Services: Background and Issues for Congress, 2019)

The commission noted that great efforts had been made in evolving a diverse force, women and racial and ethnic minorities are still underrepresented in leadership billets. In August 2011, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order (EO 13583) calling for a coordinated government-wide initiative to endorse diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce (Diversity,Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity in the Armed Services: Background and Issues for Congress, 2019). In Section 528 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 Congress reaffirmed a commitment to maintaining a diverse military.

The Department of Defense (DOD) has continued its efforts in improving diversity and inclusion. DOD has new definitions of diversity and diversity management that apply to uniformed personnel and DOD. Diversity is defined as the different characteristics and attributes of the DOD’s total force, which are consistent with DOD’s core values, integral to overall readiness and mission accomplishment, and reflective of the Nation we serve (Diversity,Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity in the Armed Services: Background and Issues for Congress, 2019). Diversity Management is defined as the plans made and programs undertaken to identify and promote diversity within the DOD to enhance DOD capabilities and achieve mission readiness

DOD’s definition of diversity includes demographic characteristics and different backgrounds, skills, and experiences. DOD’s plan for diversity management does not plan targets or quotas for the recruitment, retention, or promotion of factually underrepresented demographic groups, neither does it prioritize diversity at the expense of military readiness. While DOD does not establish official diversity targets based on demographic profiles, an inherent goal within the current definition is that the characteristics of the force should reflect the demographic characteristics of the U.S. population. DOD regularly gathers data and reports on the demographic profile of the force which can then be compared to the demographic profile of the civilian population.

In 1993, all laws excluding females from serving in any occupation were repealed; however, by DOD policy, women were still omitted from serving in units or occupations involved in direct ground combat. In 2013, the DOD rescinded the Direct Ground Combat and Assignment Rule, which had excluded women from assignment to units below the brigade level whose main mission was to participate in direct combat on the ground. On December 3, 2015, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter ordered the military to open all combat jobs to women with no waivers or exceptions.

Female partaking in the civilian and military workforce has gained momentum over the past 50 years. Women made up for less than 40% of the civilian workforce and less than 4% of the Armed Forces in 1970. In 2018, women made up nearly 17% of DOD’s active duty force. In comparison, in 2016, women accounted for approximately 47% of the civilian workforce in the United States. Growth in female enlistment in the military has reflected growth in certain historically male-dominated civilian occupations. For example, female representation in the civilian police force rose from 3.7% in 1970 to 14.8% in 2010.

According to research from the Defense Manpower Data Center, the active duty enlisted corps is more racially diverse than the U.S. resident population with nonwhite servicemembers accounting for roughly 33% of all active duty enlisted and 23% of the total U.S. population ages 18-64. Between enlisted minority groups in the active and reserve components, Asian servicemembers are underrepresented relative to the U.S. population and blacks and Pacific Islanders are overrepresented.

Diversity Consciousness

Diversity consciousness is defined as being culturally aware of the differences in your communities and workplace. From July 1, 2008, to July 1, 2009, minorities made up 49 percent of births in the U.S. This means businesses are hiring a more diverse work force and will continue to do so. Consciousness of these developments helps one take advantage of diversity by proactively making teams that have different qualities and backgrounds. An organization can also offer training that makes employees aware with cultures that differ from their own.

Diversity consciousness benefits organizations because it allows employees to expand both socially and interpersonally. A diverse workforce that has a keen sense of diversity consciousness can see an added benefit to problem solving and cohesion.


Globalization is defined as the worldwide movement toward economic, financial, trade, and communications integration. Globalization proposes the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a broader outlook of an interrelated and interdependent world with free transfer of capital, goods, and services across national frontiers

Due to the Army’s unique mission, globalization was necessary. The Army’s mission is to remain constant: To deploy, fight and win our nation’s wars by providing ready, prompt and sustained land dominance by Army forces across the full spectrum of conflict as part of the joint force. The Army mission is vital to the nation because we are the service capable of defeating enemy ground forces and indefinitely seizing and controlling those things an adversary prizes most – its land, its resources and its population (U.S. Army Recruiting Command, 2019)

There are approximately 9,500 Soldiers and civilian recruiters working out of more than 1,400 recruiting stations across America and overseas. The United States has recruiting stations overseas in countries like Germany Guam, Korea and Japan to name a few. For any organization to remain successful overseas, it must have a keen understanding of diversity consciousness (U.S. Army Recruiting Command, 2019). The recruiting command is able to place recruiting stations abroad because the federal law authorizes the defense secretary to collect student directory information for military recruiting purposes from any secondary school that receives federal money through the No Child Left Behind Act, including schools operated by the DOD (Jontz, 2009)


So, in conclusion one can see the U.S. Army is a very diverse organization. The recruiting command is the backbone of the Army. One can see the increase in minorities and women enlistment. The United States Army has shown great strides in raising their diversity consciousness. The one recommendation in which one may offer is for the Army to continue diversity training, do not lower the standard, and try to mirror the nations demographics within the organization without sacrificing mission readiness.

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Critical Analysis of Diversity Management in the United States Army Recruiting Command. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
“Critical Analysis of Diversity Management in the United States Army Recruiting Command.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022,
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