This country was founded on the basic values of freedom, dignity, respect, and opportunity for all. In an ongoing struggle to ensure that these rights are enjoyed by all, we must continue to educate each other on the importance of equal opportunity.
Values, attitudes, and prejudices gained before enlistment or commissioning do not automatically dissolve or change when someone puts on an Army uniform. Too often these values, attitudes, and prejudices can lead to the misunderstanding, frustration and suspicion of others. Knowing and accepting this will help you to understand the impact of effective EO education on command climate.
A positive, proactive EO environment helps units’ effectiveness. It promotes morale, teamwork, and results in a high degree of unit cohesion and esprit de corps. People perform most efficiently in an atmosphere free of intergroup friction and discord. Therefore, a healthy EO environment is a key factor in developing and maintaining unit readiness.
Army Regulation 600-20 (Army Command Policy) defines equal opportunity as “The right of all persons to participate in and benefit from programs and activities for which they are qualified. These programs and activities will be free from social, personal, or institutional barriers that prevent people from rising to the highest level of accountability possible. Persons will be evaluated only on individual merit, fitness, capability, and potential, regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or religion, except as prescribed by statute, or other Service policy.”
The U.S. Army provides EO and fair treatment for Soldiers, Family members and Civilians without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, and provides an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior. This policy:
- Applies both on and off post, during duty and non-duty hours.
- Applies to working, living, and recreational environments (including both on and off-post housing).
- Additionally, in some circumstances, the Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint system in AR 690–600 may provide guidance.
Be on the look-out for weekly information posted about the Army’s EO and SHARP programs and initiatives specific to the NTC and Fort Irwin community.
Questions, comments or concerns pertaining to this and future articles should be directed to the Regiment EO Office at 380-2513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.