Haaland Examines Racial Disparities in the Military During House Armed Services Hearing

June 29, 2020
Press Release

Albuquerque, N.M. – Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) continued her work to address systemic racism by pushing for concrete action from military officials to address racial disparities in the military during a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week. At the hearing, Haaland pressed Lt. Gen. Jeffery Rockwell fors pecific information about data collection, the timeline for action, progress indicators and the make-up of the panel leading the review on racial disparities and factual cultures in order to better understand the steps the U.S Air Force is taking to eradicate racial disparities. 

During the hearing, Haaland said, “We must ensure the systems we utilize to administer discipline are fair and just for everyone. Meanwhile, Black service members continue to receive nonjudicial punishment at disproportionately high rates compared to white service members. And I have to believe this is also a contributing factor as to why we don't see service members of color achieve higher ranks which is an issue this committee has consistently raised. In the 1960s, my father served in the marine corps and experienced first-hand the maturation of the service into a fully integrated force, along with the racial tensions that flared up during that time. We've progressed since then, but we can all agree, we still have a long way to go.” 



Earlier this month, Congresswoman Haaland introduced the Protect Act alongside U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson and Ruben Gallego. The PROTECT Act would move to significantly demilitarize our local and state police forces by requiring the Department of Justice to create a new Gear for Grants program that would provide funding for de-escalation training, anti-racist training, or purchases of body cameras for officers in exchange for the return of military-grade weapons.