Black Soldier, White Army: The 24th Infantry Regiment in Korea by Hammond, Macgarrigle, and Bowers

Black Soldier, White Army: The 24th Infantry Regiment in Korea by Hammond, Macgarrigle, and Bowers

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The story of the 24th Infantry Regiment in Korea is a difficult one, both for the veterans of the unit and for the Army. In the early weeks of the Korean War, most American military units experienced problems as the U.S. Army attempted to transform understrength, ill-equipped, and inadequately trained forces into an effective combat team while at the same time holding back the fierce attacks of an aggressive and well-prepared opponent. In addition to the problems other regiments faced in Korea, the 24th Infantry also had to overcome the effects of racial prejudice. Ultimately the soldiers of the regiment, despite steadfast courage on the part of many, paid the price on the battlefield for the attitudes and misguided policies of the Army and their nation. Several previously published histories have discussed what happened to the 24th Infantry. This book tells why it happened. In doing so, it offers important lessons for today's Army. The Army and the nation must be aware of the corrosive effects of segregation and the racial prejudices that accompanied it. The consequences of that system crippled the trust and mutual confidence so necessary among the soldiers and leaders of combat units and weakened the bonds that held the 24th together, producing profound effects on the battlefield. We must ensure that the injustices and misfortunes that befell the 24th never occur again.

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