Marcus S. Cox, a military historian at The Citadel in South Carolina, says arguments that gay troops would harm morale were also used to oppose merging black and white units.
The change started in 1948, when President Harry S. Truman ordered all military branches to desegregate.
It wasn't widely carried out until after 1950, when casualties in Korea forced the Army to put black troops in all-white units.
Retired Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton Jr. says he had no trouble as
a black Army officer getting white troops to take orders in Korea.
He says soldiers were too focused on fighting to worry about race.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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