DoD Reaffirms Human Goals Afforded to All
By Staff Sgt. Alicia K. Borlik
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 29, 1998 Defense Secretary William Cohen signed the 1998 DoD Human Goals Charter July 24, reaffirming the department's long-term commitment to equality.
"The charter is the foundation of our efforts to ensure that everyone in DoD -- military or civilian -- is treated with dignity and respect," Cohen said.
The charter outlines the department's promise to ensure equality for all DoD employees without regard to race, color, sex, religion and national origin. It promises to provide opportunity for all, dependent only on individual talent and diligence.
One change to this year's charter was in regard to sexual orientation and disability of civilian employees. In addition to the equalities afforded military personnel, DoD civilians are not to be judged on their age, disability or sexual orientation.
Cohen noted several current events that celebrate the steps DoD has taken toward total equality for all, but he emphasized "there is still much to be done."
He noted the military has made great strides in the 50 years since President Harry Truman signed the executive order that ended racial segregation in the military. Cohen reflected on the 50th anniversary of the integration of women into the armed forces, which was celebrated in June at the Women's Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. The 25th anniversary of the all- volunteer force this year is another example.
"Bold, important steps -- this is a season of celebration and commemoration," he said. "This charter emphasizes our DoD commitment to ensure a military free from prejudice, free from indifference, free from hate and free from intimidation.
"Truman once said, 'We cannot afford the luxury of a leisurely attack upon prejudice and discrimination. The national government must show the way'."
"This charter is one of the ways the Department of Defense is showing the way," Cohen said.