S. military would be developed and administered internally and should cover the following topics at a minimum, with other areas being introduced as the need is identified:
1. Problems of discrimination in the military workplace
2. The role of stereotypes in discrimination
3. How to make different groups welcome in the military workplace
4. How diversity contributes to performance and productivity
5. The DoD's policies concerning discrimination and the provisions of federal equal employment opportunity laws
6. The content of stereotypes about different groups
7. Promoting retention and development of different groups
8. The cultures of different demographic groups serving in the military
9. Nondiscriminatory recruitment
10. Problems of discrimination outside the military workplace
Implementation: How will the training be delivered?
The implementation and administration of diversity training initiatives in the U.S. armed forces depends on the geographic location and mission of the units that are involved (Kraiger, 2002). For example, units stationed "stateside" will likely have more opportunities to receive this type of training compared to units that are assigned combat missions in the Middle East. This is not to say, of course, that diversity training should be regarded as a luxury that is only provided to select units, but it is to say that it implementation and the manner in which such training opportunities were delivered would require a careful balance between maintaining combat readiness and the specific needs of the unit that is involved. In the case of the stateside units, delivery could be provided by personnel trained for this purpose; for combat units, this training could be provided in recorded form using DVDs or motion picture formats supplemented by the other training content areas listed above.
Evaluation: How will you evaluate the effectiveness of the training? How will you reinforce and sustain the training?
The effectiveness of diversity training initiatives in the armed forces can be evaluated by tracking the number of unit-level violations that are reported based on disciplinary actions taken pursuant to the Uniform Code of Military Justice such as so-called Article 15s, the number of lawsuits alleging discriminatory practices and...
Based on this trended data, specific areas that were identified as being significant problem areas could be targeted and additional emphasis placed on these areas during subsequent training program delivery.
How these programs will contribute to maintaining a high performance organization.
It is important to point out that even the most thoughtful and comprehensive approach to diversity training may not overcome all of the interpersonal problems being experienced in a given military unit. In this regard, Bendick, Egan and Lofhjelm (2001) emphasize that, "In spite of its positive intent, it is unrealistic to think that with three to five hours of diversity training, complex sociological and cultural principles could be clearly understood, much less applied to all interpersonal relationships" (p. 10). Therefore, it is important to consider diversity training as an ongoing requirement rather than a one-time effort.
Because the U.S. armed forces are not a homogeneous collection of individuals, but rather represent an enormous diverse collection of people from all of the states and territories, there is a vital need for informed and meaningful diversity training programs that can help group members better understand each other and overcome powerful cross-cultural differences that may adversely affect unit readiness and mission performance. To this end, the U.S. Department of Defense has established policies that prohibit any type of discriminatory practices in the military, and there are numerous examples of how these programs can help eliminate these harmful practices in the public and private sectors.
Bendick, M., Egan, M.L. & Lofhjelm, S.M. (2001). Workforce diversity training: From anti-
discrimination compliance to organizational development. Human Resource Planning,
Diversity management and equal opportunity (EO) in the Department of Defense. (2009,
February 5, 2009). U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved from http://www.dtic.mil / whs/directives/corres/pdf/102002p.pdf.
Hemphill, H. & Haines, R. (1999). Discrimination, harassment, and the failure of diversity training: What to do now. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Kraiger, K. (2002). Creating, implementing, and managing effective training and development:
State-of-the-art lessons for practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Obama signs repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell.'…
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