Equal Promotion Opportunity in the United States Navy
Baldwin, J Norman, Political and Military Sociology
This article analyzes the outcome of over 75, 000 promotion decisions affecting middle-grade Naval officers between 1984 and 1993. Theory predicts that promotion rates of men should exceed promotion rates of women, while promotion rates of Caucasians should exceed promotion rates of minorities. With respect to women, the data analyzed are generally consistent with theory at the higher ranks investigated. Promotion-rate differences between men and women also indicate that theory may be more valid between 1984 and 1988. With respect to minorities, aggregate data are consistent with theory. However, in the latter years investigated, promotion-rate differences between Caucasians and minorities are less extreme and promotion rates of African Americans and Hispanics to captain are substantially higher than promotion rates of Caucasians to captain. Despite their successes, women and minority Naval officers turnover at high rates and are still grossly under represented in the officer corps.
Theories of individual discrimination, institutional racism/sexism, human capital shortages, and inaccessibilityto informal White-male networks suggest that promotion rates of men should exceed promotion rates of women, while promotion rates of minorities should trail promotion rates of Caucasians. The body of empirical research lends support to this proposition with respect to minorities but provides only mixed support with respect to women. However, promotion research infrequently investigates promotion rates over time, organization populations, and more than one minority group. This article investigates the population of promotion decisions affecting middle-grade Naval officers over a ten-year period. It compares the promotion rates of male and female officers and Caucasian officers and minority officers representing five racial/ethnic categories. In so doing it explores aggregate promotion rates, promotion trends over time, and promotions as a function of rank. The article concludes by examining the number of women and minorities promoted as proportions of the total officers promoted.
Investigating potential promotion inequalities in the Navy is especially significant in light of its history of discrimination against women and minorities (see Holm, 1992; Binkin, Eitelberg, Schexnider, and Smith, 1982). Until 1942, the Navy accepted only white volunteers; after which difficulties creating segregated units and facilities brought about policies limiting the number of African American sailors. By the 1950s, half of the African Americans in the Navy were still relegated to the steward's branch. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Navy experienced serious racial incidents and, by the late 1970s, was accused of utilizing entrance standards that limited African American enlistments. Women, in turn, were allowed to serve only in the Navy's Nurse Corps until 1942. In 1948, a law prevented women from being assigned to vessels other than hospital ships and transports. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the same law placed a two percent ceiling on the number of enlisted women. Officer Candidate Schools were gender segregated until 1973, and women were not allowed on non-ocean going tugs and harbor crafts until 1975. Throughout most of the 1970s, women were subjected to higher cognitive and educational enlistment standards and could not serve on non-combat vessels at sea.
This research is also significant because it helps establish whether unacceptable attitudes, behaviors and outcomes pervade a critical Naval personnel function in a post-Tailhook era. Moreover, investigating the promotion record of a military organization is significant in an era characterized by mounting pressures to dismantle affirmative action. Because of their unique missions, military organizations are not subject to aggressive affirmative action programs. Charged to promote the most qualified, the Navy's affirmative action program involves goals for promoting women and minorities, not quotas. In determining whether promotion inequalities exist in the Navy, this research therefore helps discern whether aggressive race- and gender-conscious promotion policies might be necessary for penetrating glass ceilings.
Institutional racism/sexism and disparate impact theories assert women and minorities receive fewer promotions because the policies and structures of institutions have a distinctly negative impact on them (Jones, 1972; U.S. General Accounting Office, 1988). For example, until recently, policies preventing women from going to sea precluded their gaining experiences necessary for promotions to senior leadership. They have caused women to be segregated or "crowded" into positions with limited avenues to higher ranks (Kelly, 1991; Sorensen, 1989). Stivers (1993), in turn, would contend that the armed forces have masculine cultures that create masculine organization structures that disparately impact the promotions of women. Her theory suggests that, because the armed services are organized according to Weberian principles, they fail to accommodate family obligations and reinforce masculine images of successful officers.
Human capital theory suggests women and minorities have received fewer promotions because they possess less capital (Becker,1962). Without sea duty or other essential work experience, their human capital has placed them on career ladders that do not extend to the top of the Navy's hierarchy. Disparate treatment and individual sexism/racism theories assert women and minorities are less likely to be promoted because they are subject to discrimination. As members of career systems with White-male traditions, some officers might feel military roles are inappropriate for women; others might simply feel uncomfortable with women or minorities in their work environments. Such reactions might be common in the Navy because it is a closed system where officers enter at the bottom, compete with each other for promotions, and generally spend numerous years in service (Mosher, 1982: 147-165). Naval leaders are consequently older than civilian leaders, system-bound, and accustomed to tradition.
Finally, Kanter's (1977) work suggests women and minorities have difficulties competing for promotions because they are excluded from the informal network of White-males. Because White-male officers interact primarily with each other, knowledge of their character and talents diffuses more thoroughly through the network of most influential officers. Informal interactions among White males also enhance comfort levels resulting from familiarity. Ultimately, because they are well-known and do not threaten the status quo, White males with positive reputations are more likely to be offered special training and assignments leading to promotions.
The body of empirical research on minorities supports the preceding theories. With respect to women, the empirical support is mixed (for reviews see Baldwin, 1996; Baldwin and Rothwell, 1993). Older studies on civilian public organizations indicate women do not receive as many promotions as comparably qualified men. More recent studies indicate positive promotion outcomes for women. The research on private-sector organizations does not address minorities but generally indicates women are not as successful as men in achieving promotions.
A majority of the promotion studies of military and semi-militaristic organizations focus on the Army. In an older study of the Army, Butler (1976) found African Americans take more time to earn enlisted ranks than comparably qualified Whites. In a reanalysis of Butler's data, Miller and Ransford (1978: 68) found "the black disadvantage in promotion time to E5E6 was more pronounced for those with the .... higher AFQT scores, higher education, and greater technical skills." However, Segal and Nordlie (1979) demonstrated Black-White differences in time to earn rank decreased at all but the two most senior enlisted ranks between 1971 and 1975. Finally, Killingsworth and Reimers (1983) found non-White civilians on an Army base have less likelihood of promotion than comparable White civilians.
In a recent study of the Army, Baldwin (1996) found female officers are promoted at lower rates than male officers and minority officers are promoted at lower rates than Caucasian officers. In a study of the Air Force, Baldwin and Rothwell (1993) found promotion rates of minority officers to be lower than rates of majority officer, but rates of men and women were similar at lieutenant colonel and colonel. Both of these studies found women to be extremely underrepresented among Army and Air Force officers.
Controlling for merit to discern the effect of gender on promotions, Thomas' (1987) experimental study revealed mid-level Naval officers were more inclined to recommend the promotion of a hypothetical officer with a stereotypical male narrative performance evaluation. Finally, Martin (1990: 108) found female police officers in Washington, DC attain promotion ratios that are 125 to 300 percent higher than their proportions in the eligibility pools.
In contrast to many of the previous studies, the present study does not control for the effects of age, education, and experience; nor does it determine whether Navy promotion criteria predict performance at higher ranks. Consequently, promotion rates appearing equal in this research may disguise inequities--promotion outcomes not based on qualifications. However, unlike most previous research, the present study investigates a population and longer time periods. Similar to Baldwin (1996) and Baldwin and Rothwell's (1993) studies, it also reports officers promoted as a percentage of officers considered for promotion, not promotions per year or promotion probabilities. Such rates are consequently not biased by systematic unwillingness to compete for promotions or by the absence of promotion ladders.
The author analyzed data provided by the Promotions Plans Section of the Bureau of Naval Personnel. The data were extracted from yearly Military Equal Opportunity Assessment reports (DOD form 2509) for each rank investigated--lieutenant, lieutenant commander, commander, and captain. The reports present the number of officers considered for promotion, the number of officers promoted, and the promotion rates of different racial/ethnic groups and genders. The racial and ethnic groups include Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and Others/Unknown. Others/Unknown consist of officers who selected a option indicating they are not a member of one of the preceding groups and officers who did not answer a question requesting their racial/ethnic identity (Haeg, 1996). Overall, the data include the population of middle-grade line officers considered for promotion between 1984 and 1993--more than 75,000 officers. Data prior to 1984 are unavailable.
The researcher confined the study to the middle ranks because promotions prior to lieutenant are automatic in all but rare circumstances. Data on admirals, in turn, are less accessible. The researcher investigated line officers because they constitute the core of the Navy's power structure. They not only can command at sea, they comprise the majority of Naval officers. Those commonly excluded from the line are chaplains, judge advocates, and health-services professionals. Unlike the Army and Air Force, the Navy also excludes supply officers and civil engineers from the line because they cannot command at sea.
Promotion boards consist of at least five active-duty officers serving in higher ranks than the candidates. They include at least one officer from each competitive category of officers eligible for promotion. Competitive categories are determined by the secretaries of each military department and "reflect specific groups of officers whose specialized education, training, or experience, and often relatively narrow utilization, make separate career management desirable" (U.S. Congress, 1988: 27).
Promotion boards are currently instructed to recommend the advancement of officers who are the "best and fully" qualified within each competitive category (U.S. Department of the Navy [DON], 1995; U.S. Statutes at Large, 1980). They are to consider candidate progress toward attaining qualifications necessary for performance at the next rank and progress in a particular training avenue. A balance of skills and experience are evaluated, including potential for command, performance while in command, and "demonstrated leadership, skill, integrity, and resourcefulness" in difficult assignments other than command (U.S. DON, 1995: 2 [FY-97 Precept]). Post-graduate education, military education, and experience in specialized areas is to be valued equal to operational experience. And, successful promotion candidates must meet height, weight, and physical fitness requirements.
Board instructions also assert the Navy's commitment to "aggressive" equal opportunity and require board members to take an oath to perform their duty without "prejudice or partiality" (U.S. DON, 1995:1 [Supplemental). Although current and past policies have limited the duty assignments of women, if performed equally well, the duties of men and women are to be given equal weight in promotion decisions. Boards also cannot consider a candidate's marital status, nor the employment, educational, or volunteer status of a candidate's spouse. Boards are instructed to value the background of officers in nontraditional careers (e.g., acquisitions and joint duty assignments) the same as the background of officers in the "primary and warfare specialty" (U.S. DON, 1995: 6 [FY-97 Precept]). Acknowledging that many minority officers have been involuntarily assigned to nontraditional careers, instructions admonish boards to strive for equal promotion rates among traditional and nontraditional career groups. Boards are also to consider that lower initial fitness reports of minorities may reflect difficulties adjusting to the Navy's dominant culture. Coming from different social backgrounds, minorities are acknowledged as having a disproportionate number of "late bloomers," not unqualified promotion candidates. Boards also consider that disproportionately lower initial fitness reports may reflect past discrimination against minorities. Ultimately, a board's goal is to achieve minority promotion rates equal to the rate prescribed for each rank and competitive category.
Promotions are "desirable" after the following years of service as an officer: four years for lieutenant; ten years, plus or minus one year, for lieutenant commander; 16 years, plus or minus one year, for commander; and 22 years, plus or minus one year, for captain (U.S. DOD, 1987: 4-5: U.S. Statutes at Large, 1980: 2852). Small numbers of officers not reported here are also promoted one to two years ahead or behind the desired schedule.
The Defense Officer Personnel Management Act limits the number of active duty officers holding the ranks of lieutenant commander, commander, and captain (U.S. Statutes at Large, 1980: 2842-2843). The number of officers that can be promoted is therefore a function of retirements, previous promotions, separations, and changes in work-force structure. The number to be promoted in each competitive category is determined by the Chief of Naval Personnel. Officers with the highest promotion-board evaluations, up to the predetermined number of vacancies, are promoted.
Aggregate Promotion Rates
Data for the ten-year period indicate promotion rates of men are higher than promotion rates of women at commander and captain (see Table 1). Rates of men are lower than rates of women at lieutenant and are almost identical to rates of women at lieutenant commander. Aggregate data further indicate promotion rates of Caucasians are higher than combined rates of minorities at each rank. They are higher than rates of specific minority racial/ethnic groups at each rank except captain where the rates of Hispanics and African Americans are highest. Rates of Others/Unknown are substantially lower than rates of Caucasians at commander and captain. At captain, rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans are substantially lower than the rate of Caucasians.
Cumulative Promotion Rates
Cumulative promotion rates are the product of the promotion rate at a particular rank and the rates at the previous ranks. Table 1 indicates cumulative rates of men are higher than cumulative rates of women at commander and captain. Cumulative rates of Caucasians are higher than cumulative rates of minorities at each rank except captain, where the cumulative rate of Hispanics is highest. All minorities except Hispanics and Native Americans experience a substantially lower cumulative rate than the cumulative rate of Caucasians at commander. At captain, all minorities except African Americans and Hispanics experience a substantially lower cumulative rate than the cumulative rate of Caucasians.
Comparisons of officers considered for promotion with officers promoted at the previous rank indicate, after achieving lieutenant commander and commander, women leave the Navy at substantially higher rates than men. For example, the number of women considered for promotion to captain reflects a 59.5 percent decrease in the number of women promoted to commander; whereas the number of men considered for promotion to captain indicates only a 1.7 percent decrease from the number of men promoted to commander. Similar comparisons indicate minorities leave the officer corps at higher rates than Caucasians.
Differences Between Promotion Rates of Men and Women
Table 2 indicates differences between promotion rates of men and women decrease at the rank of lieutenant commander and increase progressively to the advantage of men at commander and captain. However, between 1989 and 1993, these differences are generally less extreme, especially at captain. Differences Between Promotion Rates of Caucasians and Minorities
Table 3 indicates, between 1984 and 1988, differences between promotion rates of Caucasians and all minority categories combined increase progressively with rank to the advantage of Caucasians. Differences are at least ten percent at lieutenant commander and commander and greater than 20 percent at captain. Yet, between 1989 and 1993, the differences between the rates of Caucasians and combined minorities are relatively equal at lieutenant, lieutenant commander, and commander. At captain, the difference decreases to a slight advantage for minorities. Between 1984 and 1988, all specific minority groups experience an increased difference from lieutenant to lieutenant commander. All except Hispanics experience an increased difference from commander to captain. Although based on small eligibility pools, differences at captain are unusually large for Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and Others/Unknown. Between 1989 and 1993, the differences between promotion rates of Caucasians and minorities demonstrate less consistent patterns among specific minority groups. Except for Native Americans, differences at captain indicate substantial minority improvements over differences at commander. Difference patterns also generally indicate promotion improvements for Hispanics and African Americans between 1989 and 1993. By contrast, except at captain, differences between promotion rates of Caucasians and Asian/Pacific Islanders are larger between 1989 and 1993. However, during both five-year periods investigated, promotion rates of Native Americans and Others/Unknown demonstrate the largest differences from the promotion rates of Caucasians. Promotion Rates Over Time
Ordinary least squares analysis (OLS) indicates five of 36 possible significant (p<.OS) promotion-rate trends over time (see Table 4). At lieutenant, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans experience around a one and two percent respective decline in promotion rates each year. At lieutenant commander, men, women, and Caucasians experience approximately a one percent decline in promotion rates each year. Statistically insignificant data indicate, at lieutenant commander and commander, Asian/ Pacific Islanders and Native Americans experience substantially greater declines in promotion rates over time than Caucasians. At captain, all minorities experience substantially greater increases in rates over time than Caucasians. However, because this research investigates only ten years and because individual-year promotion rates are based on small numbers of minorities, ascertaining whether the insignificant data reflect trends or random fluctuations in promotion rates is impossible. Individual-Year Comparisons
Of 30 possible individual-year gender comparisons at lieutenant through commander, three indicate differences between promotion rates of men and women exceeding five percent (see Table 4). A fourth (commander 1986) indicates a difference exceeding ten percent. At captain, six of ten differences between promotion rates of men and women are greater than ten percent; however, three of these are based on eligibility pools of fewer than ten women.
Table 4 further indicates, of 30 possible individual year combined minority-majority promotion-rate differences at lieutenant through commander, 25 are greater than five percent. At captain, the differences exceed 20 percent from 1984 to 1987 but diminish substantially thereafter. Between 1989 and 1993, three of five differences at captain exceed five percent and reflect superior promotion rates for minorities. Women/Minorities Promoted As Percentages of Total Officers Promoted
In contrast to the preceding focus on promotion rates, Table 5 presents the extent to which different genders, races, and ethnic groups are represented among those promoted in the Navy's officer corps. The data indicate the number of women and combined minorities promoted as a percentage of total officers promoted decreases substantially with rank. Moreover, this pattern is consistent for the three largest minority groups-- African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Table 5 further indicates, compared to their proportions in the U.S. population, women and minorities are grossly underrepresented among Naval officers (U.S. Bureau of Census, 1994: 14, 30).
In sum, at the higher ranks investigated this study's aggregate data are consistent with the theoretical proposition that promotion rates of men should exceed promotion rates of women. At all ranks investigated, aggregate data are generally consistent with the proposition that promotion rates of Caucasians should exceed promotion rates of minorities. However, differences between promotion rates of males and females and differences between promotion rates of Caucasians and minorities suggest that theory may be less valid in the latter years investigated. Moreover, the promotion rates of Hispanics and African Americans to captain do not fit the pattern that theory predicts. The study further indicates a limited number of promotion trends over time. Finally, it indicates women and minorities are grossly under represented among Naval officers as compared to their proportions in the population.
That the promotion record of Hispanic officers is the greatest exception to theory perhaps reflects the compatibility of Hispanic cultural values and the values and structures of military organizations. The collective and familial values of Hispanic culture may allow Hispanic officers a unique capacity to cooperate, conform, and place group goals above individual goals (Rosenfeld and Culbertson, 1992). Cultural deference to authority may also allow Hispanic officers a unique capacity to respect the chain of command. While Hispanic family demands may conflict with Navy demands for geographic mobility, separation from family for sea duty, long work hours, and residence in foreign countries (Segal, 1989), the overriding impact of Hispanic culture may develop qualities that allow Hispanic officers to be particularly attractive promotion candidates.
With respect to women, the partial support for theory may reflect a couple phenomena. Without sea duty, women may possess the human capital for promotions to lieutenant and lieutenant commander but not commander or captain (Becker, 1962). Without sea duty, they may consequently be crowded into career lines ending at lieutenant commander (Kelly, 1991; Sorensen, 1989). As rank increases, Navy personnel may also become increasingly uncomfortable with female officers. While female lieutenant commanders may be acceptable, female commanders may be less so. Although this mentality may not pervade promotion boards, it may occur during critical career defining selections--initial job placements, work assignments, and service school selections--prior to promotions (Olson and Becker, 1983).
The findings are consistent with the findings from the research on military and civilian public organizations--promotion rates of Caucasians generally exceed rates of minorities. With respect to women, they are most consistent with the negative findings from the private-sector studies and the older public-sector studies. However, somewhat similar to Segal and Nordlie's (1979) research, they indicate reductions in promotion-rate differences over time. Finally, the findings are consistent with Baldwin (1996) and Baldwin and Rothwell's (1993) findings concerning the underrepresentation of women and minorities among Army and Air Force officers.
The findings, however, differ from Baldwin's (1996) and Baldwin and Rothwell's (1993) in that female Naval officers are not as successful as female Army and Air Force officers in achieving higher ranks. Given the relative age of the Navy, its predisposition to broad interpretations of combat exclusion policies, and the "traditions of men and the sea," female Naval officers may contend with a more entrenched male culture than female Air Force officers (Holm, 1992: 408). More importantly, sea duty is essential for climbing the Navy's career ladder. Yet, women were not allowed on combat vessels at sea until 1994 and are still not permitted to serve on submarines. As rank increases in the Navy, women have consequently competed for increasing numbers of positions without the requisite experience at sea.
Keeping in mind the study's inability to control for promotion qualifications, the Navy's aggregate record for promoting women is respectable at the two lower ranks investigated. The aggregate record for promoting minorities, in turn, appears problematic, especially when considering cumulative promotion rates. However, it is less problematic in the latter years investigated. Relative to time, the Navy's promotion record generally indicates an absence of problems. Neither gender experiences a positive promotion trend over time, nor does a racial/ethnic group. Negative promotion trends are limited in number and do not disproportionately affect women or minorities. However, data limitations may mask trends indicating that time has a substantially greater negative impact on minorities than Caucasians. Finally, within the scope of the present analysis, the Navy's record with respect to women appears better than most private organizations' but worse than many public organizations'. Among the three major military branches, its record is arguably the most discriminatory because of the difficulties women experience in achieving higher ranks. With respect to minorities, the Navy's record is similar to other military and civilian public organizations.
Notwithstanding the positive elements in the preceding evaluation, the small numbers of women and minorities promoted as percentages of total officers promoted should be highlighted. Diminishingwith rank, these percentages foreshadow the presence of glass ceilings. Although unequal promotion rates contribute to glass ceilings, Table 1 suggests attrition has a major impact on hierarchical underrepresentation. Research indicates attrition and reenlistment rates of military women are affected by parental and pregnancy responsibilities, job satisfaction, trust in leadership, and challenging work (for reviews see Shields, 1988; Stewart and Firestone, 1992).
The paucity of women and minorities entering the Navy's officer corps also contributes to underrepresentation. In 1992, women comprised only 19.1 percent of the Navy's officer accessions; minorities comprised 15.2 percent of the accessions (DOD, 1993: 5-8, 5-11). Consideringofficers must possess baccalaureate or equivalent degrees, minority accessions are affected by lower minority high school and college graduation rates relative to Whites (U.S. Department of Education, 1994: 20). Although accessions of women are partially a symptom of sex-role socialization, they are currently affected by recruitment ceilings resulting from rigid berthing policies on ships and the Navy's refusal to refit ships to accommodate more women. They are also most likely affected by recurring incidents given public attention, such as sexual harassment at the Naval Academy, Tailhook, the rape of a 12-year old Japanese girl, and the sexual assault of a woman petty officer, that contribute to a sexist and unsafe image of the Navy.
To retain more women in the Navy's hierarchy, efforts might focus on accommodating family obligations that still fall disproportionately on women (Goldin, 1990; Kelly, 1991). Family support services including child care, after school programs for children, relocation assistance, and separation support programs might be enhanced (Orthner, 1990; Segal and Harris, 1993). Greater value might be placed on employee productivity and less value placed on geographic mobility, working long hours, longevity, and continuous employment (Johnson and Duerst-Lahti,1992; U.S. Merit System Protection Board, 1992). Creative work scheduling, parental leave for urgent and non-urgent family responsibilities, and more predictable work hours might also enhance retention (Hudson Institute, 1988; Orthner, 1990; Segal, 1989; Segal and Harris, 1993). Finally, retention efforts might focus on coordinating the assignments of dual-service couples, enhancing officer discretion in the determination of assignments, and better timing and control of separations from families (Segal, 1989; Segal and Harris, 1993). To increase representation of women and minorities, the Navy's most important commitment is to the development of programs and practices that reduce sexual harassment and other forms of sex and race discrimination. This includes a willingness to take punitive actions against officers who discriminate and, during promotion evaluations, a willingness to hold officers accountable for allowing sexist or racist climates within their commands. To increase representation, the Navy might expand mentoring programs designed to foster understanding of the Navy's dominant culture to bring about change in that culture, and to provide underrepresented groups access to opportunities arising in the informal network. Through diversity training, previously discussed work accommodations, and the opening of restricted ratings, the Navy might also attract women and minorities because it has developed a perceptibly new culture. Increasing women and minority recruiters and expanding Navy scholarships, workstudies programs, and summer internships for underrepresented groups are efforts that might attract college-bound women and minorities to high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs, the Naval Academy, and college ROTC programs (U.S. Department of Labor, 1992). Continued support for the Navy's BOOST program is also essential. An acronym standing for Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training, BOOST prepares talented enlisted personnel for ROTC and the Naval Academy. Finally, to enhance minority representation, the Navy might expand efforts to target minority publications, interface with minority communities, and tailor recruitment to the values of minority cultures.
Efforts to attract women to the Navy, however, involves families, schools, government, and other institutions reinforcing the legitimacy of military service as a career option. Women must also be encouraged to pursue the technical educations required by the modern Navy. Efforts to attract minorities involves families, schools, and government reinforcing the advantages of a college education. To increase college-bound minorities, many states must also tackle education reforms that will equalize the quality of public schools. Overall, although the Navy can implement a variety of programs to reduce underrepresentation and shatter glass ceilings, overcoming these problems requires comprehensive efforts of numerous institutions.
Future research controlling for the impact on promotions of education, performance evaluations, work assignments, initial job placements, work interruptions for child bearing, and service school training would better discern whether women and minorities are treated equitably in Navy promotion processes. However, future research must also explore the validity of promotion criteria and the informal dynamics of Navy promotion processes. Invalid promotion criteria and biases affecting informal processes might perpetuate promotion inequities that are not readily evident in the promotion statistics presented here. Moreover, as long as women and minorities continue to experience underrepresentation in the Navy, future research might explore the possibility of injustices in the determination of initial job placements, work assignments, and selections to service schools. Even if Naval promotion processes are relatively sanitized, these determinations can have a significant impact on an officer's promotability. In recent years, the Navy has allowed women to serve on combat vessels at sea, opened restricted ratings, and expanded sexual harassment protections (Burlage, 1994; Nelson, 1994). It has chosen to emphasize planned-parenthood training instead of pre-deployment pregnancy testing and career-damaging penalties for pregnancy (Pexton, 1994b). Recent initiatives to assist minorities include higher numerical goals for recruitment and retention, mentoring programs, diversity training, and counseling to encourage pursuit of career paths leading to promotions (Pexton, 1994a). Such policies are a far cry from the days when married women could not join the Navy, when pregnant servicewomen were involuntarily separated, and when minorities were relegated to the steward's branch. The low cumulative promotion rates, substantial turnover, and extreme underrepresentationof women and minorities demonstrated in this research, however, indicate that serious efforts must continue if the Navy is to realize a more diverse officer corps. The findings demonstrated in this research also indicate that theory may need to be refined. The theorized problems of women and minority Naval officers in competing for promotions may be tempered by time period, rank, and membership in specific minority groups.
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J. NORMAN BALDWIN University of Alabama…
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Publication information: Article title: Equal Promotion Opportunity in the United States Navy. Contributors: Baldwin, J Norman - Author. Journal title: Political and Military Sociology. Volume: 25. Issue: 2 Publication date: Winter 1997. Page number: 187+. © Dr. George Kourvetaris Winter 1996. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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