On October 21, 2020, the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted the second event in a multi-part discussion series on race in the military. The recording of the first event can be found here. Moderators Bishop Garrison and CNAS Adjunct Senior Fellow Dr. Jason Dempsey hosted a conversation with General (Ret.) Vincent K. Brooks and Colonel (Ret.) John Tien. It focused on the journeys of two officers who entered military service as the first African American and first Asian American, respectively, to serve as First Captains at the United States Military Academy, West Point – the highest rank a cadet can achieve. The perspectives of these two ‘first’ First Captains looking back on successful military careers provided invaluable insights into past advances in inclusion in the military, lessons learned from their experiences, and additional perspective on current efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in today’s military.
This series is a continuation of the MVS program's longstanding dedication to enhancing understanding of traditionally underserved populations in the military and veteran space, as shown by our women veteran author series, partnership with the Athena Leadership Project and research on women in combat, and Minority Veteran Needs Assessment. It will be accompanied by an increased number of pieces in our Supporting the Military Community commentary series focusing specifically on issues of diversity and inclusion.