Black People : Blacks and West Point

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by cherryblossom, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    West Point grad inspires black teens

    By Alexa James
    Times Herald-Record
    Posted: May 23, 2009 - 2:00 AM
    WEST POINT — David White Jr.'s mission took him from the rarefied halls of Congress in Washington, D.C., to the raucous classrooms of North Junior High in the City of Newburgh.

    The West Point cadet was searching for black men, like him, to lead the Army.

    "It was my way of giving back," said White, 21, of Milton, who'll graduate from the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday as a second lieutenant.

    His commission will help fill a void within the Army's ranks — by percentage, there are far fewer minorities in the officer corps than in the enlisted masses.

    In 2008, black soldiers accounted for 20 percent of the active-duty Army but made of only 12 percent of its commissioned officers, according to Army reports. White soldiers comprised 63 percent of the entire Army and nearly 78 percent of the officer corps. West Point's Class of 2009 includes 72 black cadets, less than 8 percent.

    White thinks West Point can improve diversity by increasing its visibility in both formal and informal settings. As president of the Cadet Public Relations Council, he organized a variety of projects: overnight visits for teenagers, trips to inner-city schools and meetings with minority lawmakers. The goal wasn't to recruit, but to expose students to opportunities.

    To the junior high teenagers in Newburgh, White said "now is when it counts." To have a shot at West Point, they'll need to stay fit, keep their grades up and steer clear of trouble.

    "The life expectancy for an inner-city African American male is much less than that of a soldier in Iraq," said Lt. Col. Irving Smith, a sociology professor who mentored White at West Point.

    "David is a poster boy for what we want our young people in America, particularly black males, to be, know and do." The sooner they're exposed to such models, the better, he said.

    West Point's application process takes about 18 months and requires a nomination from a member of Congress. There are challenges at that level, too. At the Capitol in February, as part of an Army diversity panel, White tried to convince lawmakers that nominating students to service academies was not an endorsement of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "Those two things aren't married," he said. "You don't have to believe in the war to sponsor a student and his dream."

    Serving is a personal choice, he said, recalling one of his college visits to Ohio State University. "They really rolled out the red carpet," but something was missing. "I was looking for something that would set me apart from the rest," he said.

    White realized the university had asked nothing of him.

    His West Point diploma includes a five-year active duty commitment to the Army. He'll serve as an armor officer, based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.


    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090523/NEWS/905230323
     
  2. oldiesman

    oldiesman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    black men like him to lead the army...hmmmm...last i heard white folks were still in charge of the military,and let's be real for a minute here the only reason this[poster-boy]is in alaska and not iraq is because somebody pulled some strings...don't believe the hype.
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Well, you shole got a pernt there! :toast:

    But, I was just thinking about Blacks serving in/through this capacity.
     
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