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Letter to Secretary McNamara Transmitting Final Report of the President's Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces.

December 28, 1964

[ Released December 28, 1964. Dated December 26, 1964 ]

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Enclosed is a copy of the final report submitted by the Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces. The report deals with the special problems of discrimination faced by American servicemen serving abroad and by those who serve in National Guard units.

The Committee has devoted considerable time and effort to its studies, and its recommendations obviously warrant prompt and thorough consideration within the Federal Government.

The Defense Department has, I believe, done an excellent job in resolving many aspects of the general problem of discriminatory treatment of those who serve in the Nation's Armed Forces. I would hope that the momentum already achieved in moving toward the Nation's objective of equality of treatment and opportunity for all servicemen would continue until every vestige of the problem has been eliminated.

The recent progress in securing integration of National Guard units is encouraging, and I urge that every effort be made to continue this movement toward a National Guard in every State in which there will be no barriers against participation based on race, color or creed. The cooperation that has been obtained between the Defense Department and the Governors of the various States in striving for this objective should be maintained and strengthened. I will appreciate receiving periodic reports from you on the progress made in this regard.

Because the Committee's report discusses the assignment of military personnel to United States Missions in other countries, I am also sending a copy of the report and of this letter to the Secretary of State.



[The Honorable Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.]

Note: The Committee's report, dated November 1964 and entitled "Final Report: Military Personnel Stationed Overseas and Membership and Participation in the National Guard" (mimeographed, 24 pp. and tables) was released with the President's letter.

The initial report of the Committee was submitted to President Kennedy in June 1963 (see 1963 volume, this series, Item 251 ).

The letter was released at Austin, Tex.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to Secretary McNamara Transmitting Final Report of the President's Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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