Task Force One Navy Established to Combat Discrimination, Racism

Recruit road guards run ahead of their division to get into place and stop traffic as their division marches in formation at Recruit Training Command. More than 35,000 recruits train annually at the Navy’s only boot camp. Task Force One Navy in part will address recruiting and barriers to entering the sea service. U.S. Navy/Seaman Apprentice Mikal Chapman

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy stood up a special task force on June 30 to address the issues of racism, sexism and other destructive biases and their impact on naval readiness, the chief of naval personnel public affairs office said in a release. 

“Task Force (TF) One Navy” will be led by Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey, who will report his findings to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday via the Navy’s chief of personnel, Vice Adm. John B. Nowell Jr.   

“As a Navy — uniform and civilian, active and reserve — we cannot tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind. We must work to identify and eliminate individual and systemic racism within our force,” Gilday said. “That is why we are standing up Task Force One Navy, which will work to identify and remove racial barriers and improve inclusion within our Navy.” 

Holsey will be supported by fleet commanders and leadership from a number of organizations such as the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, Chief of Chaplains, Surgeon General of the Navy, Chief of Legislative Affairs, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russell Smith and many others. 

The task force will seek to promptly address the full spectrum of systemic racism, advocate for the needs of underserved communities, work to dismantle barriers and equalize professional development frameworks and opportunities within the Navy. 

“We are at a critical inflection point for our Nation and our Navy and I want to ensure that we are fully responding to this moment as we work to facilitate enduring change,” Nowell said. “We must use the momentum created by these events as a catalyst for positive change. We need to have a deeper inclusion and diversity conversation in our Navy and amongst our own teams.” 

TF One Navy will focus their efforts in recommending reforms in several key areas. These areas include: 

  • Recruiting/barriers to service entry 
  • Pre-accession mentorship frameworks/scholarship opportunities 
  • Diversity of talent by community/talent management 
  • Training/education along the service member career continuum 
  • Detailing/milestone job opportunities 
  • Fitness reporting/evaluation systems 
  • Promotion/advancement processes 
  • Military justice analysis of racial disparity 
  • Health care and health disparities 

TF One Navy leadership and membership will represent the diversity of thought, experience, and perspectives within the Navy and will include membership reflecting the diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age, and ranks from across the sea service. 

“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,” Gilday said. “We are one team, and we are one Navy.”