Diversity/Minority Question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Packer, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I know a kid who will be applying to USAFA and USMA that believes he will get a boost on his application due to having Native American blood. The kid is blond haired and blue eyed but his great grandpa was part Native American (he doesn't know the percentage). The question is does one have to be a certain percentage NA to claim NA status?
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Ha! He would get preference to work at Heath and Human Services (don't get me started on that). Interestingly enough, the federal government calls them "indians" or "American Indians".
     
  3. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    No.

    This is a "slippery slope" question, IMHO. There is no requirement to submit any proof in the application phase; in fact, in my experience, one will NEVER be asked to "prove" anything in this regard, either in the application phase, or in the following career.

    HOWEVER...I do know of instances where in the past, individuals claimed "ethnic minority" status that for some reason came to "official question" and was then investigated and found to be a false statement. The individual was then charged under the UCMJ and the result was not pretty.

    The best way to look at this is not to care. Whether or not it "might" give an individual any "advantage" over any other candidate really isn't a concern to anyone else; they need to bring their very best game to the field. THAT is the most important concern for EVERY candidate. Focusing upon the "what if's" will drive you nuts!
    (Trust me on that one, I've been there, done that!) :eek:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  4. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I would agree that it is best to spend ones time on that which one can control or influence and not worry about the other stuff. That said it still tends to rub me the wrong way.
     
  5. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Probably due to a massive survey of American Indians conducted by the Smithsonian prior to naming the Museum of the American Indian. It was found that, in spite of the PC "Native American", the vast majority of us are PROUD to be called "American Indians" - and that's how the museum is named. :biggrin:
     
  6. ski_mom63

    ski_mom63 Member

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    First, let me say that you can be blue eyed and blonde haired and be an American Indian. Visit almost any tribe and you will see it. Second, while USAFA does not require any documentation to claim American Indian status, a tribe and the government does. My husband's tribe requires documentation for generations and generations that goes all the way back to the disbursement of head rights. They will then issue you a membership card that entitles you to certain benefits. The United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs will then issue a card with your name, birthdate, the degree of Indian Blood, the Tribes Authority date, where you are listed on the tribal roll and the issuing date. The card is then signed by the authorized Superintendent.
     
  7. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I am generally aware of the documentation for the government and tribes but wondered if one had to be documented to claim it on an academy application. I am reasonably sure the kid is not documented. I am not losing any sleep over this but am curious.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    My fiancee is a pharmacist in the Indian Health Service. It seems to vary from tribe to tribe. Cherokee call themselves indians. Pueblos in the west not as frequently.


    Still can't figure out why American Indians get preference at Health and Human Services agencies like the FDA....
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Tribes get some $$ for membership cards.... and American Indians that want the MANY free federal programs for American Indians have to prove that they are entitled to those programs with their cards.

    There is a fairly regular industry to create fake IDs.
     
  10. Romad

    Romad Member

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    I honestly don't know the answer to that one... I've never had any preference extended to me and I'm not a fan of the practice. However, there are two tiers of tribes - federally recognized and not. My family/band is recognized as an ethnic group - and by Canada as a people with official reservations.

    However, the BIA does not extend formal tribal recognition to us. Which means that the many of the perks received by recognized tribes have never come our way. It's more an issue of potential land ownership conflicts than anything else. Just life and reality that's all. :rolleyes: Besides - most of those crutch programs make things worse in the long run IMHO.

    IRT to the preferred designation - you're right, it varies with the group and individual, however, as I recall, the survey found that over 2/3 of those contacted preferred the title of American Indian.

    Best
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You're likely better off not being recognized and supported by the U.S. federal government. The drug and alcohol abuse on reservations and pueblos is disturbing at best. Obesity well ahead of national averages.

    That's what often happens with federal pay checks for no work, spending on drugs.

    It's sad. I'm guessing most people have an idea of "Last of the Mohicans" but get something just north of a slum.

    Rhode Island has a few tribes that are also not recognized.
     
  12. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Vermont in our case.

    I've been to Pine Ridge - It's beyond description what a once proud people have been reduced to...

    Best
     
  13. Beaz

    Beaz Member

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    My Son is an American Indian.

    My Son has been blessed to have had the opportunity to attend the Naval Academy STEM Program for the past three summers. My Son is an American Indian. His mother is CHEROKEE and my fathers mother was Chickasaw. My Son is dark and has very black hair. He was asked at the Naval Academy by a Midshipman if he was Italian? My Son replied no, he was White and American Indian. He was asked what part American Indian he was? His reply was " His Ancestors did not come in parts"
     
  14. Beaz

    Beaz Member

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    If asked, he will tell you he is a Cherokee, but he will also tell you he plays Linebacker.
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I'm sure that went over well. Which Cherokee? Interesting enough...the NC Cherokee "We're Still Here" is their motto at the National Museum of the American Indian.
     
  16. Beaz

    Beaz Member

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    I think the Mid appriciated his answer. Knowing my Son and how his mother raised him to be humble in his answer.

    His mother's people are from Western Virginia. My Grandmother who was Chickasaw was from Nothern Mississippi.
     
  17. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    The Academy has its own qualifications for diversity, and they evolve over time (or so I was told).
    After my son had applied, he was contacted by the USAFA's department of diversity recruiting. I called the office to make sure there was not an error (my son is not a minority). I was informed that they couldn't tell me the exacy qualifier, but it could be geographic, socio-economic, or any number of reasons. They did confirm he met their diversity requirements. (Low income, single parent home in NC perhaps?)
    So just because you don't qualify as a protected status minority by the federal government, doesn't mean you might not fall under a diversity goal the Academy has at the moment. Be honest, fill out your application promptly, and let the system work.
     
  18. MStan

    MStan Member

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    The Air Force’s definition of diversity:
    "Diversity is a composite of individual characteristics, experiences, and abilities consistent with the Air Force Core Values and Mission. It includes, but is not limited to, personal life experiences, geographic background, socioeconomic background, cultural knowledge, educational background, work background, language abilities, physical abilities, philosophical/spiritual perspectives, age, race, ethnicity, and gender."
     
  19. Beaz

    Beaz Member

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    Not diversity but Defense!

    its not Diversity he is looking for...its 'Defense" he is looking for.
     

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