Posted on December 24, 2020

Acting Secretary Accepts Inclusion Board’s 15 Recommendations

Jim Garamone, Department of Defense, December 18, 2020

Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller has accepted all 15 recommendations proposed by the Diversity and Inclusion Board chartered by former Defense Secretary Dr.  Mark T. Esper in July.

Miller signed a memo entitled “Actions to Improve Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion in the U.S. Military” that examined the culture of the military following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In the memo, Miller called diversity and inclusion in the DOD “moral imperatives.” {snip}


The first recommendation is for military recruiting content to reflect the current and future racial, ethnic and gender demographics of the United States.

The second recommendation deals with the dearth of diversity at the higher levels of the military. The recommendation calls for the department to develop a data-driven accessions and retention strategy. The deadline for the DOD to develop this strategy is March 31.

The third recommendation looks to increase the diversity of the officer corps itself. It recommends the DOD expand sponsorship of programs and initiatives to increase the available pool of qualified applicants for ROTC enrollments, scholarships and commissions from students enrolled at minority-serving institutions. These institutions include historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions serving Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The board calls for a thorough review of DOD aptitude tests to ensure they do not adversely impact diversity. The DOD will develop plans for a rigorous and thorough assessment of all aptitude tests currently administered. The goal of this assessment will be to analyze, identify and remove — as applicable — “barriers that adversely impact diversity while retaining rigorous screening processes necessary to access a high-quality force,” the board recommendation states.


The board also recommends prohibiting all extremist or hate-group activities. While this is already the case, the board wants the DOD to look to ways to strengthen the prohibitions against extremist or hate group activity.


“Collectively, we must do everything we can to eliminate potential bias, prejudice and racism in our military,” Miller wrote. “Our ability to maintain a lethal and ready force depends on it. I am confident these actions will bolster existing diversity and inclusion efforts and pave the way towards new methods of enhancing opportunity and strengthening our nation’s defense.”