Black People : Vietnam War Soldiers - Disproportionately Black

Jan 22, 2001
betwixt and between
Website Consultant
Peace and Blessings Family,

I was just watching something on television that said the soldiers that were sent to Vietnam were disproportionately Black, because white men had options out.

Is this true? Did you go to Vietnam and see this?



Putney Swope

Well-Known Member
Jun 27, 2009
too young but I will, say that it is mostly us going to war to this day,
and on the Black radio up here, KISS radio on Sunday mornings with Bob Slade and Mtume', a sister called up and said recruiters were phone bashing her about her high school son.
That No Child Left Behind crap gives the military, our children's high school records, and if you object, they threaten to remove you from all federal benefits


navigator of live
May 9, 2003
LaLa land
Furniture maker, a sculptor, and fight instructor
Oi Destee,

I don’t know if there was ever any real research on this issue. But the demographics would likely show that there was a disproportionate number of African Americans and Latinos inducted into the armed services for the Viet-Nam war. I was drafted in Aug 1969, after dropping out of high school in my senior year. If you were not in collage you got drafted. So many whites just went and staid in school. So this alone would change the numbers.

While I fought in Viet-Nam I did noticed that there were a lot more Africans and Latinos in combat units then there were in the non-combat units (support Units). My Company (A Co. 1st of the 5th) was about 50% Black and Latino and 50% white, mostly dumb hicks.


Feb 28, 2009

Well, most American Blacks didn't have the option of going to Canada as many Whites did nor the money for their families to pay somebody to keep their sons out of the draft.

Now, yes, Black soldiers were most often put on the Front-lines and doing Recon missions (expendable lives) as well as facing racism within the military on American bases and in Vietnam. Confederate flags were flown and White servicemen taunted, disrespected and ostracized the Black men.

A book for first-hand accounts is Bloods: Black Veterans of the Vietnam War: An Oral History by Wallace Terry.

But as for the demographics of the war, here is this:

John Sibley Butler

"The Vietnam War saw the highest proportion of blacks ever to serve in an American war. During the height of the U.S. involvement, 1965-69, blacks, who formed 11 percent of the American population, made up 12.6 percent of the soldiers in Vietnam. The majority of these were in the infantry, and although authorities differ on the figures, the percentage of black combat fatalities in that period was a staggering 14.9 percent, a proportion that subsequently declined. Volunteers and draftees included many frustrated blacks whose impatience with the war and the delays in racial progress in America led to race riots on a number of ships and military bases, beginning in 1968, and the services' response in creating interracial councils and racial sensitivity training...."

Neven Mrgan

New Member
Apr 13, 2010
Black People : Vietnam War Soldiers - Disproportionately Black

Actually, the practical effect of welfare was to mitigate the poverty endured by the indigent whose services were no longer required by the businessmen who once employed them. Millions were fed, housed, clothed and educated by a government which recognized its responsibility “to promote the general welfare”. No one claimed to be “saving souls” or “building family values” or whatever other fatuous euphemism politicians employ to flog the faithful. It was understood that people were free to form their own “values” and save their own “souls”, without the benevolent interference of the god squad.

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