Race and gender policies on trial -- The Washington Times
As with all arguments over affirmative action, a little knowledge of history is helpful here. Today's equal-opportunity policy in the Army largely evolved after President Jimmy Carter made Clifford Alexander the first black secretary of the Army.
As Mr. Alexander later described it to me, he was dissatisfied with the absence of women and nonwhites on the first list of colonels he received who were candidates for promotion to general. He sent the list back and asked for it to be expanded, with an eye on including a more racially and gender-diverse pool of applicants.
One of the colonels on the new list was Colin Powell, later the nation's first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and currently its first black secretary of state.