(CNN)Black service members in the US Air Force face disparities in disciplinary action and career opportunities compared to their White peers, according to a recent report.
The findings, released Monday, come from an independent review conducted by the Air Force Inspector General.
Investigators examined whether Black members of the Air Force and Space Force experienced racial disparities when it came to military discipline, professional development, career opportunities, and retention. They also surveyed Black Airmen and Space professionals on their experiences regarding racism, bias and unequal opportunities.
Enlisted Black service members are 72% more likely to face disciplinary action than their White counterparts and 57% more likely to be tried in military court, the report found.
Young Black enlisted members were also found to be twice as likely as their White peers to be involuntarily discharged over misconduct and 1.64 times as likely to be investigated for criminal offenses.
Additionally, Black service members are less likely to be promoted than White officers and less likely to receive career development opportunities, investigators determined.
Top Air Force officials ordered the review earlier this year in response to the sweeping national protests on race that were sparked by the killing of George Floyd -- part of a larger effort across the US military to address racial inequality and improve diversity and inclusion.
Black service members report racial bias
A significant portion of Black service members surveyed felt those disparities acutely -- reporting countless instances of racial bias through write-in responses that spanned more than 27,000 pages.
Though officials said they couldn't independently verify each of those incidents, the report stated it was "reasonable to conclude that individual acts of racism have occurred in the Department of the Air Force."
Nearly 124,000 Air Force personnel were asked about their views on disciplinary processes and career opportunities. Many voiced concerns about racial bias.
Two in five Black Airmen said they didn't trust superiors to adequately handle racism, bias and unequal opportunities. Three in five said they wouldn't get the same benefit of the doubt as their White peers should they get into trouble, while one-third said they felt the disciplinary process was biased.
One-third of Black officers also said they felt they didn't get the same career opportunities as their White peers, while two in five said they experienced racial bias when it came to promotions.
Their feelings are corroborated by data from the Department of Defense, which reflects a lack of minority service members in leadership positions.
Black service members are still disproportionately under-represented among the officer ranks despite enlisting at a higher rate than other minorities and White people relative to their share of the US population, Department of Defense data shows.
Black service members represent 19% of all enlisted personnel, but just 9% of officers. For White service members, the trend reverses. Two-thirds of all enlisted service members are White. But among officer ranks, more than three-quarters are.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr. acknowledged that more needs to be done to build trust between service members and those in command.
"Racial disparity isn't an easy topic, and something we don't traditionally talk about much throughout our levels of command," Brown said in a statement.
"This report and the many engagements with Airmen and Space Professionals have increased chain of command awareness and an opportunity to build trust. Now we must all move forward with meaningful, lasting and sustainable change to do so."
The report didn't investigate what's behind the racial disparities between Black and White service members because of time constraints.
But as recommended by the Inspector General, the Department of the Air Force said in a news release that it had started examining that question and would develop plans to address racial disparities.
The Air Force Inspector General will also follow up on the progress that has been made six months and a year from now in reports that will be released to the public, the news release said.
The Inspector General's review focused only on racial disparities among Black and African American service members, with investigators again citing time constraints. Officials said actions to address racial inequality and disparities in the Air Force would extend also to other minority groups.