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The group of officer candidates recruited during fiscal 2013 was the most diverse in the Corps’ history, Marine Corps Recruiting Command announced last week.
Nearly a quarter of the new officer candidates were minorities, up almost 9 percentage points from fiscal 2010, when 15.2 percent of officer candidates were non-white.
The pool in fiscal 2013 included 78 black candidates, 141 Hispanics and 121 Americans of other minority backgrounds. They made up more than 24 percent of the 1,400 candidates recruited during the past fiscal year.
Lt. Col. Chester McMillon, head of MCRC’s officer programs, said boosting the diversity of the officer pool in 2013 continued an upward trend, according to a Marine Corps news release.
“We’ve nearly doubled the diversity of officer accessions over the past five years,” he said. “The Marine Corps will benefit from a diverse force for the simple fact that any organization is more successful when they have the best folks from all segments of society.”
Creating a more diverse force has been one of Gen. James Amos’ priorities as commandant. In March, he called on the Corps to take a fresh approach to diversity, which included recruiting and retaining minority and female officers, plus better leadership and mentoring to help them develop.
MCRC has launched several advertising campaigns aimed at recruiting more minority officers. Last fiscal year’s “Fighting with Purpose” campaign featured a black male infantry officer and a Hispanic female aviator. A fiscal 2012 diversity campaign featured the Montford Point Marines.