WASHINGTON – The Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army today announced a new initiative, Project Inclusion, to improve diversity, equity and inclusion across the force and build cohesive teams. The holistic effort will include a series of worldwide listening sessions with Soldiers and civilians, an examination of possible racial disparity in military justice cases, and the removal of photos from officer promotion boards beginning August 2020.
“The Army is taking substantive actions to ensure that promotion and selection boards are as fair and impartial as possible,” said Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy. “We’ll be initiating listening sessions to encourage the open dialogue that is critical to helping understand and support each other.”
“The Army must continue to put People First by fostering a culture of trust that accepts the experiences and backgrounds of every Soldier and civilian,” said Gen. James C. McConville, Army Chief of Staff. “Our diverse workforce is a competitive advantage and the Army must continue to offer fair treatment, access and opportunity across the force. The Project Inclusion reforms will complement ongoing efforts to modernize our talent-management processes and ensure equitable treatment for every member of our formation.”
Project Inclusion will include the following initial measures:
1. The Army will no longer include official photos for officer selection boards beginning August 2020. Further, warrant officer and noncommissioned officer board processes will now be under review and subject to the same evidence-based standards.
2. The Army will conduct an examination of possible racial disparity within our justice system. The assessment will focus on AWOL cases, urinalysis results, sexual assault and sexual harassment to determine whether a trend for bias exists.
3. The Army Equity and Inclusion Agency and the Inspector General will conduct listening sessions with Soldiers and civilians worldwide to converse on race, diversity, equity and inclusion.
The Army has already taken steps to increase awareness of unconscious bias and mitigate its impacts, such as updating diversity and inclusion training across our ranks. Army senior leaders will continue to identify and eliminate institutional practices that inadvertently disadvantage any of our people due to immutable characteristics.