Letter Requesting that the Department of the Air Force (DAF) Conduct an Internal Review Regarding Latino Diversity

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus of the 117th Congress

Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Nov 16, 2022

Congressional Hispanic Caucus, 117th Congress

The Honorable Frank Kendall
Secretary of the Air Force
United States Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20330

Dear Secretary Kendall:

As Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), we write to request the Department of the Air Force (DAF) conduct an in-depth internal review to identify barriers preventing Latino servicemembers from rising to the rank of general officer and provide CHC Members with countermeasures and action plans to address any identified disparities. Available data suggests Latino servicemembers are underrepresented in senior ranks. According to the Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance's analysis of the recent U.S. Census, Military OneSource, and Office of Personnel Management data, while Hispanics make up 18.7% of the U.S. population, they only account for 2.6% of Generals and Admirals. To better understand existing disparities, the Caucus is eager to additionally review the results from Section 572 of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study on the number of Armed Forces members who identify as Hispanic or Latino, separated by rank, and a comparison of how each of the services promotes officers and enlisted members who identify as Hispanic or Latino among its ranks.

The DAF's first Independent Racial Disparity Review (IRDR), released in December 2020, identified, and validated 16 specific disparities for Black/African American Airmen and Guardians which needed to be carefully assessed by stakeholders to determine the root-causes of the inconsistencies and to implement systemic and lasting corrective measures, as warranted.' The DAF Inspector General (AF/IG) then conducted an independent, DAF-wide assessment to address the specific findings in the AF/IG's IRDR Report and expand on disparities for Latino Airmen and Guardians which was released in September 2021.

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