The review, done by the Air Force inspector general concluded that minorities and women are underrepresented in leadership and officer positions, particularly at the senior levels, and get promoted less frequently. It echoed many of the findings of an initial review, released last December, which found that Black service members in the Air Force are far more likely to be investigated, arrested, face disciplinary actions and be discharged for misconduct.
The two reviews into racial, ethnic and gender disparities across the Air Force and Space Force broadly confirm that biases exist, but the data does not fully explain why. The studies also reflect broader campaigns within the Defense Department and the Biden administration to root out extremism and racism.
President Joe Biden has declared domestic extremism an urgent national security threat and the Defense Department is working to identify extremist behavior and eliminate it from the force. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, earlier this year, ordered military leaders to spend a day talking to their troops about extremism in the ranks, after a number of former and current military members took part in the assault on the U.S. Capitol in January.