In 1948 when Carl Brashear began his military career and most significant his individual acts of courage in the face of segregation, there was no Executive Order for military desegregation. Once that order was issued it would be another 5 years to be implemented.

Brashear helped prove that integration in the armed forces could work and work well. In WWII there were few integrated units. By the Korean War, just five years later, 90% of military units were integrated. A quarter of the troops in the Gulf War were black.

It is significant to note that from 1948 when Brashear enlisted there was not a Civil Rights Act until 1964. That was 16 years of fighting an uphill battle of racism. Brashear’s disability is representative of what the American’s Disability Act stands for: all people have the right to prove themselves and have a job regardless of their race, creed, color, or disability.