Black people and women were found to be more likely to be dismissed from the Maryland Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate School according to data from Congress obtained by Military.com. A few Democratic legislators have requested an investigation into potential bias in the Maryland National Guard.
The data found that nearly 40 percent of Black candidates were dismissed from the Maryland Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate School between 2017 and 2021. Out of white students, only 21 percent were dismissed. About 40 percent of women students were dismissed in comparison to 23 percent of men.
“These statistics are even more concerning given that the demographics of the candidates entering MDARNG [Maryland Army National Guard] OCS largely conform to the demographics of the state, indicating that the disparities in Black and female dismissal rates are arising during the school itself,” the lawmakers wrote to the inspector general.
Last year, Reports claimed a Black soldier of Maryland National Guard, Sgt. Bruce Weaver, was punished for leaving a training site without authorization by being made to wear chains, per USA Today. The Maryland National Guard said they were trying to remind Weaver of the “chain of command” instead of symbolizing slavery.
The other allegations, which have not been substantiated, include a Black man who says he failed an evaluation at OCS “without any relevant rationale;” a Black woman who says she was “continuously secluded” from other candidates and verbally harassed; an Asian American man who says he was “unfairly disenrolled” from the officer training; and a Black man who says he was involuntarily separated from the Maryland National Guard after filing a complaint against his commander for not giving him a requested health accommodation.
“Treating everyone with dignity, respect, and fairness regardless of demographics is a fundamental value of our organization and a non-negotiable expectation of every Maryland National Guard member at every level,” Maryland National Guard spokesperson Capt. Benjamin Hughes said in an email to Military.com.