CEO Chas Sampson on How the Military, VA Disadvantage Black Veterans

Written by Chas Sampson, CEO & Chairman — Seven Principles

According to a report published by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) in 2017, marginalized racial groups comprised some 22.6% of all Veterans in the US in 2014. This percentage is projected to increase to some 35.7% by 2040. Additionally, the report states that between 2005 and 2014, “the number of minority Veterans who use at least one VA benefit or service has steadily grown from 44.1%.” Today, in 2022, that number is likely closer to — if not higher than — 50%.

Despite roughly half of all minority Veterans claiming benefits and/or service from the VA, a disparity still exists in the Military’s and VA’s treatment for Black Veterans. In fact, this disparity has been perpetuated for decades in no small part due to the historic systematic racism and prejudice within the US’ government and government-adjacent institutions. As a Black former US Army serviceman and federal decisions officer for the VA — and now as a Black Veteran and entrepreneur — there is no better time than Black History Month for me to help explain these racial disparities and help other Black Veterans and service members understand how it inherently puts them at a disadvantage.

Uncovering historical military disparities for Black Veterans

Roughly 18 months prior to the official end of World War II in 1945, the US government approved legislation that would become known as the