Military Occupations and Implications for Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity: Officers in the National Guard and Reserve [open pdf - 428KB]
"Across the National Guard and Reserve, the majority of flag/general officers tend to advance from occupations related to tactical operations, which are closely linked to the overall mission of each Service. Tactical occupations tend to have higher concentrations of non-Hispanic white officers and male officers than do other occupations. Recent research suggests that individuals' occupational preferences at the time of initial occupational assignment play a role in this dynamic, as do the Department of Defense (DoD) and Service-specific combat exclusion policies for women. However, the potential reasons why women and racial/ ethnic minorities do not choose tactical occupations are not fully understood. If the trend of women and minorities choosing nontactical occupations continues--along with the trend of senior leadership ranks being filled by officers from tactical occupations-- racial/ethnic and gender representation at the highest levels of the U.S. military will continue to be limited."
Military Leadership Diversity Commission Issue Paper No. 58
Department of Defense Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity: http://diversity.defense.gov/