WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense responded to interest from service personnel by providing its members with diversity and inclusion resources for those who experienced racism, bias and discrimination in either their personal or professional lives. The DOD partnered with various programs, including Military Family Life Counseling and Military OneSource to leverage their non-medical counseling expertise to address diversity and inclusion (D&I) issues. Diversity and inclusion coaches will phase into the MFLC program and allow service members to process their reactions to their experiences and to develop successful coping strategies.
The MFLC program and its D&I coaches have the skills and capacity to provide coaching services to address the issues of diversity and inclusion; provide the immediacy of contact; and assist service members dealing with encounters of racism, sexism, bias and any form of discrimination. The Military OneSource call center, available 24/7, provides information and referrals to MFLC D&I coaches, Military OneSource non-medical counseling and peer-support, as well as DOD Equal Opportunity representatives and chaplains.
This integrated approach to address diversity and inclusion issues offers a range of support options for the military community. Service members experiencing frustration, sadness, depression or other anxieties can seek assistance to address their concerns, as well as find the support and care they need. These resources are provided at no cost. Military members and their families are encouraged to contact these resources at:
· DOD Equal Opportunity representatives;
· Military Family Life Counselors: Contact Unit MFLC;
· Military OneSource: www.militaryonesource.mil or 800-342-9647.
Unlawful discrimination has no place in the DOD and our DOD EO representatives are available to help create and maintain a culture of inclusion and fairness throughout the DOD workforce. EO operates to ensure all individuals are provided a full and fair opportunity for employment, career advancement and access to programs without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability (physical or mental), gender, age, sexual orientation, genetic information or parental status.
All military members who believe they have been a victim of unlawful discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion or sex that is not otherwise authorized by statute or policy are strongly encouraged to immediately disclose the incidents to their chain of command. All unresolved complaints should be reported to their unit’s Equal Opportunity Office.
About the Author