According to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, military services have not been collecting consistent data regarding race and ethnicity in military investigations.

This lack of data has led to a limited ability to identify racial disparity in the military justice system. The report notes that currently the military services are not required to collect or report this type of demographic information.

“In three military services, Black servicemembers were about twice as likely as White servicemembers to be tried in general and special courts-martial,” according to the report. This statistic was similar for Hispanic service members as well.

Despite this correlation of race and higher court-martial proceedings, study noted that “race was not a statistically significant factor for a conviction.”

Recommendations that resulted from the study included that the DoD and Coast Guard collect consistent race and ethnicity data, and establish a “database so that it can query and report on gender information.”

Image by GAO