Robert Abrams, the four-star General who commands all United States forces in South Korea, held a town hall with dark service members on the matter of race. The event broadcasted on Facebook to hundreds and thousands of users. Everyone at the event was wearing civilian clothes because of the insist of Abrams as an essential symbol to reduce signs of military rank.
American Service members are speaking out #GeorgeFloyd and commanders are listening. The U.S. military is taking a renewed stand against racial injustice and moving on from President Trump on this key issue 🇺🇲 https://t.co/VVOI5tC3gD
— Andreas Harsono (@andreasharsono) June 13, 2020
The General told the audience to develop an action plan in the coming future with proper preparation. Abrams, a white officer, spoke in extremely personal terms. He added that during his service, he tried hard to be part of the solution. It was difficult for him to grasp this week that he dropped way short in helping to eliminate racism and prejudice in their ranks.
America’s top military leaders are attempting to move ahead
Town hall of Abram is only one example of how top military leaders of United States are trying to go ahead on their own to deal with the issue of racism in the ranks without waiting for American President Donald Trump to decide if he wants to speak to the nation following countrywide protests provoked due to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
There is no main sign brass are directing their efforts, but the message is obvious. At all levels, service members are speaking out while commanders are listening. The military – which Trump usually uses to boost himself as a commander in chief – is taking a new stand against racial inequality and moving on from Trump on this major issue.
They are aware that they are at risk of experiencing the President’s anger but determined to speak forward and ready for improvements in a military that strives to diversify. There is a debate happening in all army ranks and at installations across the world through speeches, social media, unexpected moments, and videos.
A military General told CNN that some days ago, a young dark service member on his staff told him that he didn’t feel like anyone ever really sees him when moving all over the corridors of Pentagon. The most senior enlisted soldier, Sargent Major Michael A. Grinston, tweeted a video about the difficulties he faced as a biracial U.S. citizen.
— Michael A. Grinston (@16thSma) June 5, 2020
An extraordinary apology from the top U.S. General
Armed leaders have also steered the challenges presented by Donald Trump, who, many times, tried to drag the services into politics. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, issued an unexpected apology on Thursday for his presence in Lafayette Square during the walk of Trump to St. John’s church for a photograph opportunity after peaceful protests forcefully dispersed.
Milley said that his presence at that time flashed a country-wide debate about the military role in civil society. His presence in that environment created a perception of military involvement in country politics. Moreover, as a commissioned uniform army officer, he committed a mistake and learned from it, and hopefully, everyone could learn from it, Miley said.