There is "much more to do" to boost diversity within the armed forces, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has acknowledged.
The armed forces have a target of 10% of recruits coming from black and ethnic minority backgrounds by 2020 but intake levels are currently at 7.2%.
Sir Michael said "more diverse armed forces are stronger armed forces".
In comments to mark Black History Month, the Defence Secretary said: "We are working hard to ensure the Armed Forces, like our cadets, better represent the society they serve but there is still much more to do.
"We want more sailors, soldiers and airmen to come from minority and ethnic communities.
"More diverse armed forces are a stronger armed forces; that has to start amongst the junior ranks and work all the way up to Chief of the Defence Staff."
Sir Michael was visiting HMS President in London, which has an engagement team set up to build links with minority communities across the capital.