ST. LOUIS – Every year, commands throughout the Navy send out a confidential survey to all hands known as the Defense Equal Opportunity Climate Survey (DEOCS) to gauge and focus on issues of organizational effectiveness, equal opportunity and sexual assault response and prevention.
Military and civilian personnel assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Mid America recently completed this survey and received the results from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). NTAG Mid America’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bradley Whittington, took those findings and conducted virtual debriefings over a two-day period.
Although NTAG Mid America performed better than the Navy average in most categories, Whittington used his command’s DEOCS survey as a starting point for solutions to issues within the command.
“Even though our command climate is progressively getting better over the years, we can still do better,” said Whittington. “I owe it to my people to make that happen.”
During the debriefs, Whittington went over the various highs and lows of the survey and asked each group, separated by pay grade, several questions about how they felt on a particular category or comment. Responses varied by peer group, both positive and negative, but Whittington feels that each group was able to find solutions and work together as a team.
“It is essential to talk about issues, both within and outside the lifelines of the command, amongst one another as a family,” said Whittington. “Our team will only continue to succeed if we trust one another. In turn, the local population will trust our team, and the Navy, when they see us embracing the fact that ours is a fair and equitable organization working to be free of any harmful or discriminatory practices or perceptions thereof.”
However, the discussions will not end there for NTAG Mid America. Even though the command climate survey and debriefs are complete, the need to continue to discuss and oust iniquities such as racism and sexual assault is something that Whittington feels should happen year-round.
“I told my staff to expect more periodic focus group discussions and more frequent reminders on anti-discrimination policies and procedures,” said Whittington. “I also plan on conducting more frequent all-hands calls to spread the message that everyone will be treated fairly and with respect.”
Although no specific violations of equal opportunity were noted on the DEOCS survey within NTAG Mid America, Whittington explained that it is always the right time to talk about those issues and to work towards ridding them for good. He also made it clear that those who violate the policies prohibiting discrimination and sexual assault will be held accountable and disciplined to the full extent of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
“Racism and sexual assault are unacceptable and will not be tolerated here or anywhere within the Navy,” said Whittington. “I expect everyone who sees or hears anything racist or sexual in nature to speak up and intervene.”
In order to help facilitate the roundtable discussions, Whittington has tasked NTAG Mid America’s equal opportunity manager, Chief Navy Counselor Donald Craig, with putting together a team to conduct command conversations about race and equality and how it affects the command and Navy. These members will be made up from NTAG Mid America’s Command Resilience Team (CRT).
“This is a talk that needs to happen at all levels,” said Craig. “The plan is to make it as casual and relaxed as possible yet ask the tough questions that need to be asked in order to get real answers and real solutions.”
Similar to the aforementioned team, the U.S. Navy has implemented Task Force (TF) One Navy, which will be used to identify barriers and corrective actions in order to eliminate inequalities between groups of people. According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, TF One Navy will leverage outreach focus groups from both within and outside the Navy representing diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age and rank to ensure a diversity of experience and perspectives. While the Navy has been committed to inclusion and diversity for many years, current events have shined a light on the need for Navy personnel to do more and to do it more swiftly.
In keeping with the vision of Gilday and TF One Navy, Whittington’s bottom line is this: continue to talk about good conduct, fairness and equality, and adhere to the Navy Core Values of honor, courage and commitment.
“It’s my belief that everyone should be evaluated on their performance based solely on merit and never by any bias nor unfair practices,” said Whittington. “I expect everyone to follow the Golden Rule and treat others as they would want to be treated.”
NTAG Mid America, part of Navy Recruiting Command (NRC), recruits the next generation of Navy Sailors throughout areas encompassing Missouri, Kansas, central and southern Illinois, and a portion of Kentucky.
NRC consists of a command headquarters, two Navy Recruiting Regions, 15 Navy Recruiting Districts and 11 Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 815 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
|Date Posted:||07.22.2020 01:38|
|Location:||ST. LOUIS, MO, US|
This work, Continuing the EO Discussion: Going Beyond Command Climate Surveys, by PO1 Chris Williamson, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.