The U.S. Army’s Reluctance to Desegregate and the Impact of Racial Integration after the Korean War

  • 2016

The U.S. Army’s Reluctance to Desegregate and the Impact of Racial Integration after the Korean War

Author:
Thomas Weiss
Abstract:

This paper studies racial integration within the United States Army and its reluctance to integrate prior to the Korean War. The purpose of this paper is to determine the cause for the Army’s unwillingness to integrate the force after the adoption of Executive Order 9981 and also to recognize the impacts that integration had on the Army and ensuing problems that African Americans faced in the post-Korean War years. This paper utilizes synthesized secondary source historical analysis as well as primary sources, to include period articles, autobiographies and oral histories as the basis of research. While the focal point of this paper is centered on the events of the Korean War, the scope of the analysis includes periods before and after the Korean War to include World War II and the war in Vietnam as well as the inter-war years. This paper concludes as its major finding that U.S. Army integration officially occurred on the battlefields of the Korean War; however, owing to the continuing problems with institutional, personal, and perceived racism and discrimination, true integration did not begin to take shape until the Vietnam era where the Department of Defense finally acknowledged the racially centered problems within both the military as well as the civilian communities.