Sending Office: Honorable Jimmy Gomez
Sent By:
Diana.Rios@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Support Diversity Among Military Officers

CLOSING: Tomorrow, March 14

Current Signers: Filemon Vela, Donald M. Payne Jr, Juan Vargas, Stacey Plaskett, Alcee L. Hastings, Alan Lowenthal, Alma Adams, Marcia L. Fudge, Judy Chu, Gene Green, Steve Cohen, Salud O. Carbajal, Gwen S. Moore, Mark DeSaulnier

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to join me in requesting report language in the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense appropriations bill that would support robust outreach efforts to promote diversity among the ranks of our nation’s military officers.

While the military academies have made progress in reaching out to underrepresented communities, there are still substantial gains needed to ensure diversity among military officers.

This report language is a first step to eliminate barriers that prevent those in underrepresented communities from obtaining a world-class education and serving their country.

We hope you can join us in supporting diversity among military officers. Thank you for your consideration. For additional information or to sign on to this letter, please contact Diana Rios (diana.rios@mail.house.gov,
Ext. 6-3170) in my office or Alex Sabater (alex.sabater@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Gallego’s office. The deadline to sign on to this letter is C.O.B. on March 14, 2018.

Sincerely, 

 

JIMMY GOMEZ 

Member of Congress 

 

RUBEN GALLEGO 

Member of Congress

## Letter Text ##

March 16, 2018

The Honorable Kay Granger

Chairman

Subcommittee on Defense

Committee on Appropriations                               

H-405, The Capitol

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Pete Visclosky

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Defense

Committee on Appropriations

2256 Rayburn House Office Building                        

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Chairman Granger and Ranking Member Visclosky,

As you begin the arduous process of developing the subcommittee’s FY 2019 appropriations bill, we write to urge you to consider including report language supporting military diversity and to request the language to be amended as follows for the Fiscal Year
2019 Defense Appropriations bill. Adding just one phrase (italicized in the quote below) would help ensure robust diversity among the officers of our nation’s great military.

While the military academies have made varying degrees of progress in reaching out to underrepresented communities, they have not made the substantial gains needed to ensure diversity among military officers.

As a nation, we must work to eliminate the barriers preventing those in underrepresented communities from obtaining a world-class education and serving their country. We should not let an aspiring American’s residence, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status,
or sexual orientation stand in the way of this pursuit.

Therefore, we urge you to please include the following language for the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations bill as follows:

Minority Outreach and Officer Accessions

“Minorities remain underrepresented in the general officer ranks across the Services. To build a more diverse organization, the Committee supports efforts to conduct effective outreach and recruiting programs focused on increasing officer accessions in minority
communities and encourages the Secretary of Defense and the Service Secretaries to support efforts, with both personnel and resources, to improve diversity in the military.”

The additional phrase – “with both personnel and resources” – would place additional emphasis on the ways in which military leadership should approach the lack of diversity among its officers. While we appreciate the inclusion of
this language in the past, we must also recognize the need for the Department of Defense to take concrete steps to address the problem.

These efforts are supported by the findings and conclusions of the Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC) report, which was established by the
National Defense Authorization Act. The MLDC’s report indicates that the Armed Services’ leaders should reflect the diversity of the service members they lead.[i] The
MLDC found that “the Armed Forces have not yet succeeded in developing a continuing stream of leaders who are as demographically diverse as the Nation they serve.”[ii] They
also concluded that a diverse Armed Force, composed of men and women “with different skills, experiences, and backgrounds are needed to respond to new and emerging threats.”[iii]

We appreciate your leadership in investing in our national defense and ask that you take an active approach towards improving diversity in our military. This report language is a first step towards eliminating barriers that prevent those in underrepresented
communities from obtaining a world-class education and serving their country.

Thank you for your attention and consideration of this request. Should you have any questions, please contact Diana Rios (diana.rios@mail.house.gov, Ext. 6-3170) in my office or Alex Sabater (alex.sabater@mail.house.gov)
in Rep. Gallego’s office.

Sincerely, 

 

JIMMY GOMEZ 

Member of Congress 

 

RUBEN GALLEGO 

Member of Congress

 

[i] “From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st Century Military”. March 15, 2011.

http://diversity.defense.gov/Portals/51/Documents/Special%20Feature/MLDC_Final_Report.pdf

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Veterans

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