TYLER, TX (KLTV) – A new report, ordered by Congress, says the military is too white, and too male.
According to the Military Leadership Commission, more than three quarters of the senior officers in the active duty military are white. 8% are black, 5% Hispanic, and women make up only 16% of senior officers.
The report says the military should develop a more equal opportunity to increase the numbers of minorities and women in leadership roles.
Specialist Shawntae Hall is the first woman of her family to join the military; her grandmothers are so proud.
"[She] would have given her life to protect the country just like a guy," says Grandmother Christie Blake.
"I cried a lot while she was in the service, especially when in Iraq, worrying about her, but still, I am very, very proud of her and she'll always be my little princess, says Shawntae's other Grandmother, Mary Tompkins.
Shawntae was the only woman in her troop of 65 men when she left for Iraq.
"She was a medic. She had to be right over there on the front line and she did get hurt. Her vehicle got blown up twice when they hit IEDs and she got blown out, but being a medic, she had to worry about everyone else before she could herself," explained Christie.
On Tuesday, Shawntae was at a Dallas VA Clinic being treated for her back injuries.
"Lots of times, they do just the same thing that men do," says Mary.
Except for actually serving in combat.
According to the report, that is the main barrier that keeps women from being promoted as quickly as men.
"I've known men that were in four years like she was, and some of them are up to the corporals and sergeants, and she was still a private first class," said Christie.
In the eyes of her Grandmothers, there's not a rank high enough for Shawntae.
"I'm just very proud of her. Very proud of her and what she did," Christie expressed.
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