US Navy Secretary Reveals Plans To Promote ‘Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion’

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Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Acting United States Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker recently released a memo outlining actions the Navy will take to promote “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” a Department of Navy (DON) press release read.

The memo, titled “DON announces Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Planning Actions,” directed Chief Diversity Officer of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) (ASN (M&RA)) Catherine Kessmeier to head a “Strategic Planning Team” that would devise policies to “promote DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] in Department-wide policies.”

Harker’s memo says Kessmeier and her team will “oversee and direct” a number of 60- and 90-day reviews of department policies. One of the 60-day reviews targets “supplier diversity” when it comes to military contracts. The other seeks to “improve diverse representation” when naming Navy and Marine Corps assets.

Kessmeier’s Strategic Planning Team will also seek to “remove potential barriers to diversity,” “improve the pace of diversity and the strength of the applicant pool, while remaining cognizant of the merit system principles,” and possibly suggest changes in service member grooming policies.”

“Another 90-day review will “examine an appropriate authoritative data environment for DEI,” according to the memo. (RELATED: Woke Warriors? US Generals Want More Women And ‘Ethnically Diverse’ Officers In Combat Roles)

“Equal opportunity is the fundamental promise of the United States. The Department of the Navy is committed to rooting out inequities that have sometimes kept that promise out of reach for underserved and underrepresented communities,” Kessmeier is quoted as saying in the release.

“We recognize the need to understand the barriers that face our workforce, and we need to ensure our policies and processes are constructed to support diversity, equity, and inclusion for every officer, Sailor, Marine and civilian. Advancing equity requires a systematic approach and the Strategic Planning Team will work to address inequities in DON policies and programs that serve as barriers to equal opportunity,” she added.

The announcement comes as diversity is being pushed throughout the branches of the United States armed forces under President Joe Biden’s administration.