Both blatant and subtle racial discrimination affect morale and readiness at some military facilities and blemish the military's reputation for racial equality, a congressional report says.

The House Armed Services Committee, in its one-year study, found that many service members believe their commanding officers pay only lip service to equal opportunity and discrimination issues.The survey of 2,000 men and women in uniform at 19 facilities around the world found major differences between minorities who saw racial problems as serious and whites who thought they were insignificant.

"This is a dangerous and deleterious situation that must be addressed," said Rep. Ronald Dellums, D-Calif., the committee's outgoing chairman.

The report reflects the new directions the Armed Service Committee took under Dellums, a liberal black lawmaker who has favored cutting defense spending and transferring the money to social programs.

It notes that on the affirmative side, many service members rated the equal opportunity climate at their facilities as positive.

But the bipartisan task force found that overt forms of racism, such as racial slurs and jokes, were common at four of the 19 facilities surveyed.

The bipartisan task force reported white supremacy and skinhead activity at several facilities and said that at one Marine Corps facility racial tension was "so elevated, particularly at the junior enlisted ranks, that unit cohesion and readiness were sometimes affected."

But it said the "predominant and most damaging forms of discrimination reported" were of a more subtle type. Among them were minority service member perceptions that they were disciplined more severely and faced retaliation for lodging discrimination complaints.

Minorities frequently said they had to conform to majority norms, to become "one of the good old boys," to get favorable consideration for promotion.

The report said that equal opportunity trainers are often poorly trained and that training tends to focus on sexual harassment and ignore racial issues.

It found that the commitment of leadership to equal opportunity was the primary factor in determining the racial climate at a facility. At the Marine Corps facility with racial tension, "the command seemed blind to the problems."