Thursday, September 30, 2021

Diversity Thursday

Once again we are faced with two options: 1) the CNO is fighting as best he can to slow roll the forces of hate and division that are trying to turn his service in to an organization beset by strife, division, and sectarianism by saying the right words to keep the worst at bay while waiting for the tides to shift or; 2) the CNO is a true believer, more woke than woke – and he is going to drag everyone down with him.

I am open to either option – or perhaps a 3rd “useful idiot” – but the CNO is not an idiot. He is a smart, hardworking, and talented man. As such, we must default to 1 or 2. 

Things are leaning towards 2.

“My goal is to put the Navy in a place over the next 20 years where we’re the most diverse service in the DoD,” Gilday said during a “State of the Navy” event hosted Thursday by Defense One.

“I think it’s going to be a long-term effort to get us where we need to be with respect to a diverse force,” Gilday said. “And where, you know, we ultimately have a force where respect is part of everybody’s DNA, right?”

OK, let’s top there. Putting aside the irony of his use of “DNA,” read again what he said.

In essence, he claims that the organization he leads and was part of for over three decades, does not represent everyone. Really?

That is a bold claim. I hope he has some data to back up such an inflammatory comment against his service.

The ultimate goal, he said, is for the force to respect diversity — which not only encompasses racial and gender diversity, but experience and varied backgrounds. That will require the Navy to modify how it recruits, retains and manages talent to remain competitive.

“I think that if organizations don’t have that mindset, they’re not going to be competitive in this century,” Gilday said

Nope. He doubles down. In the CNO’s mind, he leads a bigoted service. 


Not what I saw for two decades, but perhaps I served with a more enlightened, better cohort of Sailors than he does.

Do we have some facts to look at supporting his statement?

...more than 41 percent of of enlisted sailors are people of color — the highest ratio of all the branches of the military. They comprise nearly 23 percent of officers in the Navy, behind the Army’s nearly 27 percent ... Black male and Black female enlisted recruits comprise a higher percentage of enlisted accessions than are represented in the civilian workforce of 18- to 44-year-olds...white, Asian and Hispanic enlisted recruits make up a smaller percentage of accessions than are represented in the civilian workforce.

Ummm…who wants to tell him? If anything, these numbers say our Navy isn’t recruiting enough “whites,” Asians, or “Hispanics”…if your goal is to “look like America” – whatever that means.

But the military as a whole lacks racial diversity among higher ranks. Based on data from the Congressional Research Service, the study found that nearly 90 percent of general or flag officers in 2018 were white, and nearly 80 percent of all officers were white.

And there we go - some problems are more problematic than others. 

As we have described for over a decade and a half here, the problem is not the Navy, it is the US educational, criminal, and cultural group differences that are the initial filters before anyone even gets near their first officer recruiter. 

The Navy cannot affect those three things. We are customers of our nation’s systems, not a producer of them.

To help retain a diverse population of sailors, the report advises the Navy to examine the structure currently in place for promotions, detailing and milestone job opportunities. It suggests expanding the diversity data included in the records of selection board proceedings and several other submissions in an attempt to foster transparency.

Yes, they want to put the pieces in place – including returning photos into selection boards – in order to be able to move towards hard quotas based on self-identified race and ethnic classifications; a system that throughout human history only leads to division, sectarianism, and conflict.

“If anything, we’re getting more diverse, not less diverse and we need to welcome it, we need to embrace it,” 

Again, the “need to.” We do. We did. We are. Does he know the Navy he leads?

There are few places better than the military for accepting talent regardless of the DNA source. It is something we should be proud of, but instead our leaders pretend just the opposite it true.

The CNO’s vision of his own organization isn’t just wrong, it borders on slander.

No comments: