First Honorable Mention Enlisted Essay Contest
Diversity is a strength in the military, but the Navy's approach is divisive, emphasizing our differences instead of similarities. By shifting the focus of diversity training, we can create a stronger, more unified Navy.
Cultural diversity is an issue we deal with every day in the Navy. In past years, we developed training programs to deal with the issue of differences, and we concentrated on dealing with problems. We spent a lot of time in workshops and seminars, paying attention to issues of diversity. The main focus of these workshops was to establish an understanding of what it was like to be different, based on racial or ethnic background. We listened to people tell us about the inequities they faced while working in their respective departments, setting no barriers in this communication process. Our goal was to sensitize Sailors so we could create an environment of understanding and establish creative ways of working with peers and subordinates. We spent a lot of time discussing legal issues and other ramifications of discrimination.