75th Anniversary of U.S. Military Desegregation

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aleece Williams
  • Space Base Delta 2 Public Affairs

On July 26, 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981 which abolished segregation in the military and ordered all branches to include members from various demographics.

Executive Order 9981 states that "there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin."

To honor this occasion, members at Buckley Space Force Base came together to run a 5k followed by an open forum in which speakers discussed changes the military has implemented to support members from all demographics and ways to continue working towards greater inclusion.

Panelists who participated in the discussion were United States Army Capt. Jeffrey Bischoff, 743rd Army Military Intelligence Battalion chaplain, United States Navy Chief Petty Officer Joshua Connor, 566 Intelligence Squadron and Navy Information Operations Command cryptologic technician and United States Air Force Maj. Latetia Bland, 460th Force Support Squadron deputy director.

The conversation kicked off with panelists discussing the changes they have seen within the military that may not be as prominent in civilian organizations. While speaking on this topic, panelists highlighted the bond that serving our military affords its members. Serving a warfighting force introduces members to a plethora of situations which requires that members trust and lookout for their wingmen regardless of what their background or appearance is. Looking to the left and right, service members not only see their peers or coworkers, but their brothers and sisters.

“That young man on your squad that looks different than you is the person that will be applying a tourniquet to you when you have a femoral bleed and vice versa,” said Bischoff. “You must trust each other; you must forge brotherhood.”

During World War II, people of color were serving in all branches of the military, this meant that no matter the demographic of the person, each individual was responsible for protecting this country and their wingmen. Despite this, some members were still experiencing discrimination. Facing backlash from these events, former President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, declaring the abolition of segregation in the United States Armed Services.

“I am asking for equality of opportunity for all human beings, and as long as I stay here, I am going to continue that fight,” said former President Harry Truman.

The integration of the U.S. Military has shown that being a unified force will ensure that each branch is equipped to efficiently and effectively execute each mission set and win the fight.

“We are a profession of arms, and it all comes down to winning tomorrow’s fight, that’s the end all be all,” said Bland. “The way we get there is making sure each of our members are included.