The United States Navy has unveiled nearly 60 recommendations to fight off gender-based discrimination and racism within the armed forces. For six months, the Navy worked on the "Task Force One Navy" report, which examined systemic racism and discrimination through its ranks. Most notably, the report found that it needed to address the lack of diversity in managerial positions and hate speech.
“We needed to seize this moment to engage in conversations about race, diversity and inclusion within our force more than ever before,” the report explained.
“We had to have open, honest and necessary conversations across our Navy and take action.”
The report comes just days after Lloyd Austin was confirmed as the United States Secretary of Defense. He is the first Black man to lead the Pentagon as its top chief.
“[We need to] rid our ranks of racists and extremists, and to create a climate where everyone fit and willing has the opportunity to serve this country with dignity," Austin stated.
The "Task Force One Navy" report was led by Admiral Alvin Holsey, one of the Navy's few Black admirals. Of the Navy's 219 admirals, only six are Black. Holsey, like Austin, is determined to make changes for future Black officers in the Navy. To show his commitment to change, Holsey and his team participated in 300 listening sessions and led 1,000 online surveys.
“Every listening session had the same key themes: respect, empathy, training, skepticism,” Holsey told reporters.
“There were several sailors who said, ‘Hey, why now? We're not really sure anything's gonna happen.’ We told them that sometimes we take our feet off the pedal, sometimes we can lose focus, but we're very focused at this time here.”
Ultimately, the Navy hopes that this is the start of change within their unit.
“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,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday stated.
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