American News Feb 13, 2021 5:15 PM EST

REVEALED: US Navy forces sailors to commit to 'all lived experiences and intersectional identities'

The stated mission of the formation of the task force was "to address the issues of racism, sexism and other destructive biases and their impact on naval readiness."

REVEALED: US Navy forces sailors to commit to 'all lived experiences and intersectional identities'
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY
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In June 2020, the Navy created Task Force Navy One, which was "established to combat discrimination in the Navy." The recently released findings of the task force include the TF1N Pledge, in which members of the task force take a pledge to inclusivity and self-reflection.

The pledge reads: "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."

The stated mission of the formation of the task force was "to address the issues of racism, sexism and other destructive biases and their impact on naval readiness." At the time, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday said that:

"As a Navy—uniform and civilian, active and reserve—we cannot tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind. We must work to identify and eliminate individual and systemic racism within our force. That is why we are standing up Task Force One Navy, which will work to identify and remove racial barriers and improve inclusion within our Navy."

The findings state that "TF1N was founded during a time of national crisis and has emphasized the Navy's expanding efforts to invest in I&D-related efforts. In doing so, we increase the propensity of members of diverse ages, genders, and ethnicities entering and continuing service as members of our One Navy Team. TF1N provided an opportunity to focus organized resources and amplify diverse perspectives to develop strategies to address systemic inequities within the Navy. To ensure TF1N recommendations are executed and enduring initiatives are reassessed and updated continuously, stakeholders who led the development of the TF1N LOEs must continue to lead with accountability and measure the success of selected TF1N recommendations from this report."

They also state that "In our Navy, like society, I&D [inclusion and diversity] must never become an afterthought."

The recommendations issued cover: "Matters surrounding gender minorities; Updating naming ships, buildings and streets; Updating Navy Core Values/the CNO’s professional reading list; Countering hate speech; Health disparities among minorities including nutrition; CNO/Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) flag matters quarterly tracking of all demographically underrepresented Flag Officers; Formalize CNO/VCNO NLDF briefs from Type Commanders (TYCOMs) for officers and enlisted."

And recommendations include:

"1. I&D cannotbe a one-and-done. Growing diverse teams and building inclusive workplaces takes an intentional and sustained leadership focus. It takes decades to fully realize the benefits from sustained actions taken today. Elevating I&D as a leadership competency that permeates all other leadership competencies,
and not as a one-and-done stand-alone HR training, will help ensure that implemented TF1N recommendations and follow on civilian-led efforts are able to gain traction and transform Navy culture.

"2. Ensure clear, balanced and consistent I&D messaging focused on strategic Navy outcomes. Future I&D efforts should first and foremost, support and reinforce the goals set forth by NAVADMIN 051/20 (Appendix Q), Navy’s I&D Goals, to ensure I&D efforts do not become an end unto themselves but are implemented to the extent that makes the Navy stronger.

"3. Ensure ownership and accountability to reinforce words with tangible actions. All members up and down the chain of command need to own I&D to both hold themselves and others accountable. Many think that this issue is often about 'what others are doing' not what 'you are doing.' No one is exempt, as this is a top down issue. We need to leverage data-driven assessments of performance related to I&D and monitor and regularly evaluate the effectiveness and progress of the implementation of I&D initiatives."

The Navy lists their current demographic breakdown thusly: "The current total race breakdown for the Navy is: American Indian or Alaska Native (6,594/2 percent), Asian (19,178/6 percent) Black or African American (58,363/18 percent), Declined to Respond (16,205/5 percent), Multiple Races (22,304/7 percent), Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (3,940/1 percent), White (206,406/62 percent), Total Active Force (332,990/100 percent)."

In conclusion, they write that: "Our recommendations have been well vetted, key initiatives red-teamed and the temporal aspect of when to act considered. We concluded that to do nothing is unacceptable.

"The recommendations might not all be right, but they are recommendations, nonetheless. Recommendations were developed that recognize some systemic inequalities and offer solutions to help our Navy become a more lethal and well-connected warfighting force.

"Well-connected in a sense that we know who we are and who is standing next to us in war and in peace. Yes, we know our shipmates...we see them, we hear them, we trust them and we respect them.

"Accountability for the TF1N effort will be key and rest with all of us, from E-1 through O-10 and contractor through SES. Ultimately, the specific actions, metrics and outcomes will be tracked and monitored via the COE Campaign Plan and briefed to the COE Governance Board to ensure enduring support for years to come. The inclusion in the COE campaign plan is truly the key to effecting enduring change and long-term sustainability.

"As the Director and Senior Enlisted Advisor of TF1N, we envision three things for our Navy Team going forward:

"A renewed sense of who we are as a people, as shipmates and as a Navy.

"A profound understanding of the word 'respect.' Respect for self, for service and our fellow shipmates.

"Action that improves readiness across the force while unleashing the full potential, talents and skills of all who serve. We owe that to the scores of young people raising their hands each day, making a choice and following a call to serve.

"Finally, when it comes to inclusion and diversity we can choose to be either committed or involved. We choose commitment."

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