On Monday, the Acting Secretary of the United States Navy Thomas Harker released a memo that outlined new actions the military branch will be taking on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
The memo states that Chief Diversity Officer of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) (ASN (M&RA)), Catherine Kessmeier, will lead a Department of Navy team to see that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives are included in "our policies, program, and operations across the enterprise."
"Equal opportunity is the bedrock of our democracy and diversity is one of our greatest strengths; both are critical to the readiness of our Navy and Marine Corps team and, ultimately, to our mission success," said Harker. "Aligned with these guiding principles, it is the policy of the Department of the Navy (DON) to continue making transformative and meaningful steps that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our policies, programs, and operations across the enterprise. This review will examine both Navy and Marine Corps policies and build on existing efforts within both services."
Immediate actions addressed by the memo include 60-day reviews of contracting to identify improvements to be made in supplier diversity, and of policies and conventions for naming ships, bases, and other assets.
It also includes 90 day reviews of rules for selection and assignment boards to "remove potential barriers to diversity," a review of Senior Executive diversity as well as a review of the recruitment, selection, and development of such executives, a review of grooming policies, and a review to examine appropriate authoritative data environment for DEI.
The Department of Navy stated that after the initial six actions are taken, the department will release its findings.
"I am confident that these measures will position the DON for mission success and advance warfighter readiness," wrote Harker. "Further, these measures represent important steps towards building a culture where we embrace, encourage, and advocate an environment where all Sailors, Marines, and civilians are enables to make their maximum contribution, their maximum impact to the DON mission, and are treated with dignity and respect as well as an environment with open, clear communication and operations, free from harassment and discrimination at all levels of the organization."