Ethnic and Racial Minorities in the U.S. Military

An Encyclopedia

by Alexander M. Bielakowski, Editor


From the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles of the Confederate States Army to the Navajo Code Talkers and 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion of World War II, ethnic and racial minorities have played significant roles in American military history.

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Cover image for Ethnic and Racial Minorities in the U.S. Military

January 2013


Pages 865
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Race and Ethnicity/General

This encyclopedia details the participation of individual ethnic and racial minority groups throughout U.S. military history.

Ethnic and Racial Minorities in the U.S. Military: An Encyclopedia is unique in its coverage of nearly all major ethnic and racial minority groups, as opposed to reference works that have focused only on individual ethnic or racial minority groups. It acknowledges the military contributions of African Americans, Asian Americans, French Americans, German Americans, Hispanic Americans, Irish Americans, Jewish Americans, and Native Americans.

This timely work highlights the individuals and events that have shaped the experience of minorities in U.S. conflicts. The work provides a comprehensive encyclopedia covering the role of all major ethnic and racial minorities in the United States during wartime. Additionally, it considers how the integration of servicemen in the U.S. military set the precedent for the eventual desegregation of America's civilian population.


  • More than 300 entries on ethnic and racial minorities in the U.S. military
  • Perspectives from more than 50 different contributors
  • Cross-references and books for further reading appended to each entry
  • Numerous photographs and illustrations bring the experience of ethnic and racial minorities in wartime to life


  • Recognizes the contributions of ethnic and racial minorities in American military history, highlighting the perspectives and experiences of individual ethnic and racial groups
  • Places the U.S. military in the context of social history
  • Suggests the military's role in both Americanization and racial integration
Author Info

Alexander M. Bielakowski, PhD, is associate professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS. He is a former U.S. Army Reserve officer who has published on such diverse topics as Polish Americans in the American Civil War, the final years of the U.S. horse cavalry in the 1920s–1930s, General Dwight D. Eisenhower as the first commander of NATO, and Vietnam War movies. His published works include U.S. Cavalryman, 1891–1920; African American Troops in World War II; and Buffalo Soldiers: African American Troops in the US Forces, 1866–1945.



"Its historical scope, from the pre-Revolutionary period to the present, ensures the encyclopedia's expansive view of ethnic minorities. . . . Recommended for public and academic libraries."Booklist

"Although a specialized reference work, the set is another solid contribution to ABC-CLIO's ongoing project of historical reference volumes. This work is recommended for academic and larger public libraries."ARBA

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