US Navy report calls for new diversity and inclusivity pledge

US Navy report calls for new diversity and inclusivity pledge
Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files
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A report from the US Navy on inclusion and diversity calls upon sailors who are a part of a new task force to take a pledge to “advocate for and acknowledge all lived experiences and intersectional identities of every Sailor in the Navy.”

The taskforce, dubbed Task Force One Navy (TF1N), was announced last June, and ostensibly formed 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 development of the task force coincides with the protests and riots that followed in the wake of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police officers. The report references those events, referring to itself as having been “founded during a time of national crisis.”

The pledge is as follows:  

  • 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.

It adds, “Our nation of over 330 million individuals is made up of a multitude of races, ethnicities, genders, religions, sexual orientations and more. 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.”

“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 added. “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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