Gilday: “Navy is Not the Best Place” for Biased Personnel

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In a video message released Thursday, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday said that the service is launching a re-examination of its policies in an attempt to remove racial barriers and improve inclusion. In the wake of a continuing nationwide protest movement over policing practices and systemic racism, Gilday called for a command-level dialogue on race relations in the service and a mandatory expectation of “dignity and respect” between sailors. The text is reproduced below, along with a compilation of servicemembers’ experiences.

Shipmates, CNO Gilday here. Three weeks ago, I asked you to listen. Now, I am strongly encouraging every Navy leader – uniform and civilian, active and reserve – to start a dialogue at each of your commands. 

As a Navy, we must seize this opportunity to engage in conversations about race relations and inclusion within our force. Now is the time to have open and honest conversations across our Navy. Each of us should be thinking about how we can contribute in a positive way, and what we can do to better our Navy.

It starts with each of us. To be clear…as Sailors, and as a Navy, we cannot tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind.  We must work to identify and eliminate individual and systemic racism within our force. We are beginning that work now – examining our policies, ranging from recruiting and assignments, advancements and promotions, to our military justice system, and other policies. That is why we are standing up a task force designed 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.

We are one team, and we are one Navy.

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