How Did Racial Segregation in the Armed Forces Impact Battlefield Mortality?

On July 26, 1948, President Harry S Truman issued Executive Order 9981 which abolished racial discrimination in the United States Armed Forces. But as was the case with schools several years later, desegregation moved at a snail’s pace. For the first half of the Korean War, troops remained largely segregated by race. By the end of the war, the military was largely desegregated.

Connor Huff, an assistant professor of political science at Rice University in Houston, and Robert Schub, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, conducted a study to see if racial segregation in the U.S. military impacted death rates among the troops during the Korean War.

Researchers found that Black and White soldiers’ fatality rates were similar, regardless of whether they were serving in segregated or integrated units.

“Throughout much of the Korean War, the U.S. military was underprepared and undermanned,” Dr. Huff explains. “Military commanders were putting soldiers where they were most necessary, and the need for battlefield contributions seems to have overridden any of the discriminatory behavior that could have led to different fatality rates between White and Black soldiers.”

The full study, “Segregation, Integration, and Death: Evidence From the Korean War,” was published on the website of the journal International Organization. It may be accessed here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Study Uncovers Racial Bias in University Admissions and Decision-Making AI Algorithms

A new study has found university admissions and decision-making AI algorithms incorrectly predict academic failure for Black students 19 percent of the time, compared to 12 percent of White students and 6 percent of Asian students.

Donald Comer Named Interim President of Lane College in Tennessee

Dr. Comer has extensive experience as an advocate for HBCUs and African American business education serving on the board of trustees for Stillman College and LeMoyne-Owen College. He will assume his new duties on August 1.

Racial Disparities Found Among Veterans’ Experiences With VA-Funded Community Care

"Community care" provides veterans with an streamlined option to receive VA-funded healthcare through non-VA providers. A new study has found Black Americans are more likely to report negative experiences with community care providers and administrators.

Jeffrey Norfleet Is the New Leader of Shorter College in Arkansas

Dr. Norfleet has been serving as Shorter College's provost and vice president. He has an extensive background in higher education, serving in both academic and administrative capacities.

Featured Jobs