U.S. Navy Launches Anti-Discrimination Task Force

Navy recruits at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois (file image)

Published Jul 1, 2020 8:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Navy has created a task force to evaluate issues of racism, sexism and other biases in the service. The task force is assigned to "seek to promptly address the full spectrum of systemic racism, advocate for the needs of underserved communities, work to dismantle barriers and equalize professional development frameworks and opportunities" within the Navy.

“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,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday. “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 . . . We must demand of each other that we treat everyone with dignity and respect. If you won’t do that, then our Navy is not the best place for you."

“Task Force (TF) One Navy” will be led by Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey, previously the commander for Carrier Strike Group One (USS Carl Vinson and her escorts). A helicopter squadron commander by background, Rear Adm. Holsey's decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, among others.

The task force will focus its efforts in identifying and recommending reforms in several areas, including:

- Recruiting / Barriers to Service entry
- Pre-accession Mentorship frameworks / Scholarship opportunities
- Diversity of talent by community / Talent management
- Training / Education along the service member career continuum
- Detailing / Milestone job opportunities
- Fitness reporting / Evaluation systems
- Promotion / Advancement processes
- Military justice - analysis of racial disparity
- Health care and health disparities

“We are at a critical inflection point for our nation and our Navy and I want to ensure that we are fully responding to this moment as we work to facilitate enduring change,” said the Navy's Chief of Personnel, Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr. in a statement. “We must use the momentum created by these events as a catalyst for positive change."