Army Diversity Essay

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Diversity-Why is it Important in Army

The term ‘diversity’ has commonly been used to describe the variations in characteristics among two or more individuals; it can cover visible (for instance, age, gender, race) as well as invisible (for instance, knowledge, values, culture) characteristics. Considering the attention paid to diversity by contemporary firms, understanding the reason for this focus on workforce diversity and what it implies within the armed forces personnel management context is valuable (Kamarck, 2017). Within the armed forces, the subject of diversity is complex in nature, conceptually as well as with respect to its administrative and more practical implications. Diversity constitutes one among the biggest and trickiest HR management challenges faced by military HR leaders in the last twenty to thirty years. Increased diversity in the areas of recruitment, employment and development has challenged conventional armed forces organizational principles, standards, outlooks, and beliefs. It has led to the modification and revision of HR models, practices, policies, and initiatives (Pinch, 2006).

Pinch (2006) states that several entities consider diversity a key value of multicultural, egalitarian societies; corporations ought to, therefore, seek diversity irrespective of its link to performance measures. From the standpoint of HR management, diversity has largely been examined in terms of how it affects factors such as group dynamics which influence corporate performance. The following two main factors have been analyzed in the military as well as civilian contexts:

· Cohesion: Dedication to the common goals of a group and to fellow group members; and

· Effectiveness: Group capability of fulfilling goals effectively

Importance of Diversity

The armed forces constitute a national asset and have traditionally been leading opportunities for a diverse group of individuals. It is a huge organization that enjoys an international presence. The American armed forces’ status as a diversity-focused employer affords it a competitive edge, given the current diverse candidate pool, in recruiting talented personnel across cultures, ethnicities, genders, generations, experiences and other backgrounds. The armed forces draws employees from the world’s most diverse country, but there is need for further progress since expected demographic shifts, together with the diminishing available talent pool may have implications with regard to sustaining the AVF (All- Volunteer Force). It is a well-known fact that the armed forces has a proud and long history of diversity, ever since the 1948 Presidential Executive Order on equal opportunity and treatment within the armed forces.
Though the nation’s pride in the level of diversity it has achieved via equal employment opportunity and equal opportunity is warranted, the focus for the long term has to transcend these efforts. Military leaders need to stress the fact that diversity forms an intrinsic component of American culture, and if adequately recognized and supported, forms the bedrock for an inclusive army environment. This represents one constituent of developing adaptive, responsive and active leaders who are able to efficiently operate in whatever environment they face. It is a vital component of leadership which sustains superior performance by means of the armed forces imperatives: Prepare, Sustain, Transform, and Reset (Judy & D’Amico, 1999).

Considering the distinctive contribution of the armed forces to society, one will find further reasons for the Department of Defense to value diversity. The importance of diversity within the armed forces has occasionally been discussed within the civil-military relationship context. The relationship has been described by a few as forming a trinity comprising of civil society, armed forces members and civilian leadership. The latter decides how the armed forces may be resourced and employed. Civilian society influences the civilian decision making entities. Recruits of AVFs are taken from civilian society, a part of which has served, currently serves, or is impacted directly by service personnel. How strong the bond is between service personnel and civil society is linked to societal readiness to take part in conflicts, resource armed forces, or accept the recommendations of military leaders. On the other hand, an armed forces leadership detached from society can raise doubts regarding civilian leaders’ legitimacy and that of their decisions pertaining to military matters (Kamarck, 2017).

Tactical necessity is occasionally incorporated into the armed forces context. Consider the example of the Marine Lioness initiative, which enabled women Marines to carry out search activities and gather actionable intelligence from local Iraqi women. Moreover, for an army that operates in remote areas across the globe, diversity of personnel backgrounds typically ensures units have people well-versed with the area’s language or culture. Also, the business world has already extensively accepted the need for diversity in personnel retention and recruitment efforts and the army ought to do so too. The presence of females and minorities at a workplace facilitates their retention and recruitment.….....

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References

Forsling, C. (2015). Why the military needs diversity. Retrieved from https://taskandpurpose.com/why-the-military-needs-diversity/

Kamarck, K. N. (2017). Diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity in the armed services: background and issues for congress. CRS Report, Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R44321.pdf

Judy, R. W., & D’Amico, C. D. (1999). Workforce 2020. Hudson Institute.

Pinch, F. C. (2006). Challenge and change in the military: Gender and diversity issues. Canadian Defence Army Press: Canada.

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