Executive Order 9981 is an executive order issued on July 26, 1948 by President Harry S. Truman (D). It abolished racial discrimination in the armed forces and eventually led to the end of segregation in the services.
In 1947, A. Philip Randolph, along with colleague Grant Reynolds, renewed efforts to end discrimination in the armed services, forming the Committee Against Jim Crow in Military Service and Training, later renamed the League for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation.
The Order’s operative statement is:
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.
The order also established a committee to investigate and make recommendations to the civilian leadership of the military to implement the policy.
Learn more about the history of minorities in the U.S. Military:
- Military History of African Americans
- Military History of Asian Americans
- Hispanic-Americans in the U.S. Army
- Native Americans in the U.S. Army