Posted on Jul 6, 2014
1LT Shawn McCarthy
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For many service members, the military is the first time they are forced to come out of their comfort zone when it comes to groups outside their race and social strata.
How did joining the military impact your views of other races? How has it impacted your racial identity?

(Be candid, but obviously tact must be employed when discussing these matters.)
Posted in these groups: Racism_logo RacismEthnicity_logo Ethnicity
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Responses: 19
COL Director, J5/7 Cyber National Mission Force
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Edited >1 y ago
I remember a conversation I had with my Drill Sergeant during basic (this happened after yet another run-in with a black soldier in my platoon)

"Cudworth, where are you from!" - "Pennsylvania Drill Sergeant!"
"Don't have many blacks where you grew up, did you!?" - "No, Drill Sergeant!"
"Are you are a racist!? Is that why you and ____ are at it again!?"

To that last question, my answer was "Drill Sergeant, I don't have a problem with ___ because he is black. I have a problem with him because he is an A$$hole!"

I think they had to reattach my arms after the number of push-ups he dropped me for.

I can honestly say that I've never had an issue with a soldier based on their race. I've had issues with soldiers of other race because of their performance, but not their race.

Thankfully the military is one of the few areas that you're not constantly hearing about race being a problem (it does happen, but all the leaders I've been around have been very intolerant of racism if it appears). Mainly I think it's because there aren't any of the "racial leaders" constantly telling people they are victims because of their race.
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SMSgt Lawrence McCarter
SMSgt Lawrence McCarter
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The way I figure it colonel is everyone is ok until they themselves prove otherwise. Some prove it very quickly !
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SFC Battalion S4 Logistics Ncoic
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For me it completely changed my perception. There is food, music, and other cultural things that before I joined I never would have seen myself participating in.
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CSM Michael J. Uhlig
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It was not hard to adjust to the various races and cultures within the military - my father served 24 years so we grew up in multi-cultural/racial cities and towns. What I did see when I first joined (back in the mid 1980's) and continue to see to this day, is that we allow ourselves (particularly junior Soldiers) to create subsets of our military culture, often divided on the religious, cultural or racial basis within our larger organization. This is typically the truth until we deploy and are in combat operations. It's been my experience that those deployments is where the divides dissolve - that is when our Soldiers really understand that we all bleed and we all get injured.

Again, playing contact sports (wrestling/football) growing up removes a huge barrier when it comes to interacting with all races/religions without prejudice.
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