WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN AMERICA'S VOLUNTEER MILITARY
Aline O. Quester
Curtis L. Gilroy
Since the inception of the all-volunteer force (AVF) in 1973, the U.S. military has been considered a pioneer of equal opportunity among the nation's institutions, despite its being a unique internal labor market characterized by a hierarchical structure with little lateral entry. The authors argue that this actually helped women and minorities because (1) the advancement process is both well defined and based on merit, and (2) the promotion process looks at everyone. The pay raises that accompanied the AVF made military service competitive with civilian labor market alternatives and provided women and minorities with a viable career choice. They took advantage of this freedom of choice resulting in their ever-increasing representation at all levels of the armed forces. Copyright 2002 Western Economic Association International.
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