About Equal Opportunity Program In The Army
The Equal Opportunity (EO) program formulates, directs, and sustains a comprehensive effort to maximize human potential and to ensure fair treatment for all persons based solely on merit, fitness, and capability in support of readiness. EO philosophy is based on fairness, justice, and equity. Commanders are responsible for sustaining a positive EO climate within their units. Specifically, the goals of the EO program are to-
- Provide EO for military personnel and family members, both on and off post and within the limits of the laws of localities, states, and host nations.
- Create and sustain effective units by eliminating discriminatory behaviors or practices that undermine teamwork, mutual respect, loyalty, and shared sacrifice of the men and women of the US Army.
- Additionally, in many circumstances, Department of the Army (DA) civilians may use the Equal Employment Opportunity complaint system. Army Regulation 690-600, Equal Opportunity Employment Discrimination Complaints, provides further guidance.
The Army provides equal opportunity and fair treatment for military personnel, family members, and DA civilians without regard to race, color, sex, religion, or national origin and provide an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior. This policy applies both on and off post, during duty and non-duty hours, and applies to working, living, and recreational environments (including both on and off post housing).
Soldiers will not be accessed, classified, trained, assigned, promoted, or otherwise managed on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. The assignment and utilization of female soldiers is partially governed by federal law. AR 600-13, Army Policy for the Assignment of Female Soldiers, prescribes policies, procedures, responsibilities, and the position coding system for female soldiers.
Rating and reviewing officials will evaluate each member's commitment to elimination of unlawful discrimination and/or sexual harassment and document significant deviations from that commitment in evaluation reports. Substantiated formal complaints require a "Does not support EO" on the NCOER or the OER. This documentation includes administering appropriate administrative, disciplinary, or legal action(s) to correct inappropriate behavior.
Equal Opportunity references include the following:
- AR 600-20, Army Command Policy, Chapters 4, 5, 6 and Appendix E.
- Department of the Army Affirmative Action Plan (DA Pam 600-26).
- The Army's Consideration of Others Handbook.
Equal Employment Opportunity
The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program has similar goals as the EO Program but is designed to assist and protect the civilians supporting the Army and Department of Defense, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It ensures equal opportunity in all aspects of employment for Army civilian employees and applicants for employment. Employment policies and practices in DA will be free from unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or handicap. The basic principle of equal employment opportunity underlies all aspects of the civilian personnel management program in the Army. The program allows civilian employees who believe they are victims of discrimination to make complaints through several avenues.
It is DA policy to provide equal employment opportunity to all soldiers and DA civilians under applicable EEO laws and regulations. These laws and regulations include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and AR 690-600. These laws and regulations prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or reprisal and promote the realization of equal opportunity. The EEO office manages the complaint-processing program and advises the commander on EEO matters.
Mediation may be a means to address conflicts, disputes, complaints, grievances, or other problems in the workplace. Mediation is best described as assisted negotiations between two parties with neutral mediators facilitating the process. It is a private process whereby the parties are empowered to resolve their own issues. For additional information read AR 690-12, Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and AR 690-600 or visit your installation EEO office.