A new report from the U.S. Navy on inclusion and diversity includes a pledge for members of a new task force to “advocate for and acknowledge all lived experiences and intersectional identities of every Sailor in the Navy.”
The task force, dubbed Task Force One Navy (TF1N), was announced in June 2020, to “analyze and evaluate issues in our society and military that detract from Navy readiness, such as racism, sexism and other structural and interpersonal biases to attain significant, sustainable [inclusion and diversity]-related reform.”
The timing of the creation of the task force coincides with the protests and riots that broke out following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The report appears to reference those events, stating that it was “founded during a time of national crisis.”
The report includes the following pledge for members of the TF1N members:
- As a key member of Task Force One Navy I will invest the time, attention and empathy required to analyze and evaluate Navywide issues related to racism, sexism, ableism and other structural and interpersonal biases.
- I pledge to be actively inclusive in the public and private spheres where I live and work, and proactively encourage others to do the same.
- I pledge to advocate for and acknowledge all lived experiences and intersectional identities of every Sailor in the Navy.
- I pledge to engage in ongoing self-reflection, education and knowledge sharing to better myself and my communities.
- I pledge to be an example in establishing healthy, inclusive and team-oriented environments.
- I pledge to constructively share all experiences and information gained from activities above to inform the development of Navywide reforms.
“Our nation of over 330 million individuals is made up of a multitude of races, ethnicities, genders, religions, sexual orientations and more,” the report states. “And we value them all. Why? Because that’s what right looks like, and that’s what we teach our young people.”
“In our Navy, like society, I&D must never become an afterthought. It’s true to who we are,” the report adds. “With all of our ills, injustices, and sometimes broken promises. We will still rise and stand shoulder-to-shoulder against any foe, knowing we will win. We will win because of our shared beliefs and common ideas – an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic.”
In a statement from earlier this month, the U.S. Navy said that their Culture of Excellence (COE) Governance Board was evaluating how to best implement the nearly 60 recommendations included in the report.
“As a Navy – uniform and civilian, active and reserve – we cannot tolerate discrimination of any kind, and must engage in open and honest conversations with each other and take action,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday. “That is why we stood up ‘Task Force One Navy’ – to identify and remove racial barriers, improve inclusion efforts, create new opportunities for professional development, and eliminate obstacles to enter the Navy.”
“We have fallen short in the past by excluding or limiting opportunity for people on the basis of race, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender or creed,” Gilday said. “Our Navy must continue to remove barriers to service, and most importantly, be a shining example of a workforce centered on respect, inclusive of all. Simply put, all Sailors – uniformed and civilian – and applicants for accession to the Navy must be treated with dignity and respect above all else.”
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