Executive Summary of the
2003 Population Representation in the Military Services
This is the 30th annual Department of Defense (DoD) report
on social representation in the U.S. Military Services, including the
Coast Guard. The 2003 report consists of data for DoD applicants, the
active and reserve components, the Coast Guard and time-series information.
This report covers fiscal year (FY) 2003—October 1, 2002 to
September 30, 2003. The FY 2003 end-strength of the Active Components
was slightly more than 1.4 million and the Selected Reserve (comprising
the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve,
Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve) totaled more than 875,000.
Additionally, there were more than 279,000 people in the Individual
Ready Reserve/Inactive National Guard.
In FY 2003, approximately 176,000 non-prior service (NPS) recruits
were enlisted to the Active Components and approximately 8,400 prior
service recruits were returned to the Active Duty ranks. Almost 23,000
newly commissioned officers reported for active duty. Furthermore, about
64,000 recruits without and nearly 89,000 with prior military experience
were enlisted in the Selected Reserve. Just over 16,000 commissioned
officers entered the National Guard or Reserves in FY 2003 as well.
Highlights of Important Data Collection Changes for FY 2003
Changes in reporting race and ethnicity. The fiscal
year 2003 Population Representation in the Military Services report
represents a sea change in the way race and ethnicity data are calculated
and reported. To begin, “Hispanic” is no longer reported
as a subset of Race/ethnicity. Prior to January 2003, race categories
had three values, Black, White and Other. The “Other” category
combined Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian. Those who self-identified
as “Hispanic” were defined in the data as such, without
regard to race, and included as a discrete category within all race/ethnicity
tables. The result was a combined race/ethnicity coding as follows.
On October 30, 1997, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published
for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and
Ethnicity.” The OMB standard motivated a change in data collection
policy, making it possible for federal agencies, including DoD, to collect
information that reflects the increasing diversity of the United States
population. Under this new guideline, DoD agencies are now required
to offer respondents the option of self-identifying as one or more of
the following five race categories:
- American Indian or Native Alaskan
- Black or African American
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
A separate question asks respondents their Hispanic identity:
The fiscal year 2003 Population Representation in the Military Services
report is compliant with this OMB reporting guideline. As such, race
and ethnicity information, when reported separately, will henceforth
include the following categories:
| American Indian or Alaskan Native (abbreviated
throughout the report as AIAN)
| Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
(abbreviated throughout the report as NHPI)
| Two or more races (abbreviated throughout
the report as Two or more)
| Not Hispanic
Impact of race/ethnic data changes on reporting. The
changes in race and ethnicity data collection have created reporting
issues that require some explanation. Because the new OMB guidelines
took effect on January 1, 2003, most of the military services did not
start collecting the new race and ethnicity information prior to the
start of the 2003 calendar year (January 2003). As a result, only second
through fourth quarter breakouts by these categories were available
to report for the 2003 fiscal year, which began in September of 2002.
In order for observers to be able to compare race/ethnicity population
totals with non-race/ethnicity population totals, first quarter subtotals
for the fiscal year were added. For example, Table A-1
provides the number of active component enlisted applicants from October
2002 through September 2003. Table A-3
provides race and ethnicity data for the same group of applicants, but
only from January 2003 through September 2003. In order to compare totals
across tables, first quarter subtotals were added to tables where race
and ethnicity were reported. Also, on those race/ethnicity tables where
there is a civilian comparison group, population estimates for civilians
were based on January through September of 2003 data. For non-race/ethnic
tables with civilian comparison groups, civilian population estimates
were based on full fiscal year totals, October 2002 through September
2003. As a result, the civilian population totals for the same age group
will differ. For an example of this, compare the civilian totals on
Tables B-3 and B-6.
Change in use of 2000 Census data for civilian comparison groups.
FY 2003 is the first year that estimates of the demographic
characteristics of the civilian population are based on the 2000 Decennial
Census. That census provided a more accurate (and somewhat larger) estimate
of the proportion of Hispanics and other minorities in the civilian
population than did the 1990 Census(1). As
a result of this change, the estimated proportion of Hispanic youth
in the civilian population is approximately 2 percentage points higher
than the estimates found in earlier editions of this report. Therefore,
representation of Hispanics among military accessions and members will
appear reduced due to the increase in the estimated ethnic composition
of the civilian comparison population.
Population Representation Highlights: Active Component
- There has been a slight but steady decline in NPS female enlistment
over the past few years. Levels for FY 2003 are similar to 1996 when
women were represented at a ratio of just over 17 percent. Enlistment
for NPS women reached nearly 19 percent in FY 2000 and has decreased
- NPS female enlistment remains highest in the Air Force at nearly
24 percent, a drop of 4 percentage points from 28 percent NPS enlistment
- The Marine Corps has enlisted NPS women at a smaller, but more constant
rate of approximately 7 percent every year since 1996.
- The proportion of female officer accessions, on the other hand,
reached an all-time high in FY 2003, at just under 21 percent.
- In FY 2003, African Americans were equitably represented in the
military overall. In the enlisted force, African Americans were slightly
overrepresented among NPS active duty enlisted accessions at 15 percent
relative to 14 percent of 18-24 year-olds in the civilian population.
- African American officer accessions are fairly representational
at just under 9 percent compared to just over 8 percent in the civilian
- Hispanics continue to be underrepresented, with just under 12 percent
among NPS accessions compared to just over17 percent for 18-24 year
- Hispanics make up 5 percent of officer accessions compared to a
7 percent ratio among 21-35 year old college graduates in the non-institutional
Other Racial Groups
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives are represented among NPS accessions
at 2 percent, compared to 1 percent for 18-24 year old civilians.
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders represent slightly less
than one-half of one percent of all NPS accessions, the same percentage
as found in the comparable civilian group.
- Asians are underrepresented among NPS accessions at approximately
1 percent. Asians are represented in the civilian comparison group
at just over 4 percent.
- In FY 2003, 35 percent of NPS accessions were coming from the Northeast
and North Central regions of the U.S. compared to 64 percent coming
from the South and West regions. See Table B-10
for a more comprehensive view of geographic representation by state.
Population Representation Highlights: Reserve Component
- In FY 2003 NPS Selected Reserve female enlistment was 25 percent
compared to 17 percent NPS active duty female enlistment.
- In FY 2003 18 percent of Selected Reserve officer accessions were
women compared to just under 21 percent in the active component.
- In FY 2003 women made up 17 percent of Selected Reserve enlisted
members compared to 15 percent of active duty enlisted members.
- As with the active duty enlisted force, African Americans were
slightly overrepresented among NPS Selected Reserve enlisted accessions
at 15 percent relative to just under 14 percent of 18-24 year-olds
in the civilian population.
- African Americans represented 10 percent of the Selected Reserve
officer accessions in FY 2003 compared to just over 8 percent African
American college graduates in the civilian comparison population.
- Hispanics are underrepresented to a greater extent in the Reserve
components compared to the active duty components with just 9 percent
among NPS accessions in the Selected Reserve compared to 12 percent
for active duty NPS accessions. Hispanics represent 17 percent of
the comparable civilian population of 18-24 year olds.
- Hispanics make up just over 4 percent of officer accessions into
the Selected Reserve, compared to nearly 7 percent ratio among 21-35
year old college graduates in the non-institutional civilian population.
Other Racial Groups
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives are proportionally represented
among NPS Selected Reserve enlisted accessions at 1 percent, compared
to 1 percent for 18-24 year old civilians.
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders represent slightly less
than one-half of one percent of all NPS Selected Reserve accessions,
the same percentage as found in the comparable civilian group.
- Asians are underrepresented among NPS Selected Reserve accessions
at just over 2 percent. Asians are represented in the civilian comparison
group at just over 4 percent.
Population Representation Highlights: Coast Guard
- In FY 2003 the Coast Guard’s NPS active duty female enlistment
was 14 percent compared to 17 percent of DoD’s NPS active component
- In FY 2003 21 percent of the Coast Guard’s active component
officer accessions were women—the same as DoD’s female
active component officer accessions.
- In FY 2003 women comprised 19 percent of the Coast Guard’s
NPS Reserve enlisted accessions compared to 25 percent women in DOD’s
NPS Selected Reserve enlistment.
- African American representation in the Coast Guard remains smaller
compared to DOD Active and Reserve components. In FY 2003 African
Americans made up nearly 8 percent of the Coast Guard’s NPS
active duty enlisted accessions.
- African Americans represented 3 percent of the Coast Guard’s
active component officer accessions in FY 2003.
- In FY 2003 African American representation among Coast Guard’s
Reserve enlisted accessions stood at 4 percent.
- Hispanic representation in the Coast Guard’s NPS active component
enlisted accessions was at 11 percent in FY 2003.
- Hispanics represented slightly more than 6 percent of the Coast
Guard’s FY 2003 active component officer accessions.
- In FY 2003 Hispanic representation among Coast Guard’s Reserve
enlisted accessions was just under 13 percent.
Other Racial Groups
- As with DoD’s NPS Selected Reserve enlisted accessions, American
Indians and Alaskan Natives are also represented in the Coast Guard’s
active duty NPS enlisted accessions at 1 percent in FY 2003.
- In FY 2003 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders represent
slightly less than 1 percent of the Coast Guard’s active duty
NPS enlisted accessions.
- In FY 2003 Asians comprised 1 percent of the Coast Guard’s
active duty NPS enlisted accessions.