Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the second highest-ranking officer in the U.S. military, told NPR on Wednesday that the military, and especially its leadership, must become more diverse.
Hyten told NPR’s “Morning Edition” that changing the names of military bases named after Confederate generals would be a “good symbol” of the “more meaningful change” he’s heard military personnel calling for.
He said that enlisted personnel and officers "point out to me is that when they look at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they see all old white males and they say, 'I would like to see a military .... see myself in the most senior leadership positions in terms of myself in terms of my background, my race, my sex."
Hyten noted that the next Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Charles Brown, will be the first African American member of the Joint Chiefs since Gen. Colin Powell stepped down in 1993.
"That's not right," the Air Force general said. "That's absolutely not right."
He added that the percentage of minority members of the military is higher among enlisted personnel than among officers, and that the percentage of minority women is even smaller among both enlisted personnel and officers. For example, there are only 72 female African American pilots, out of 3,300 women.
Hyten also admitted, "I think we have a problem with sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military,” and that he and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, will look outside the military for a solution.
Theodore Bunker ✉
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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