The Navy stood up a special task force June 30, to address the issues of racism, sexism and other destructive biases and their impact on naval readiness.  

“Task Force (TF) One Navy” will be led by Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey who will report his findings to the 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,” said Gilday. “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.” 

Rear Adm. 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,” said Nowell. “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 our Navy and will include membership reflecting the diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age, and ranks from across the Navy.

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

CNO Message to the Fleet on Sustaining Readiness

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday sent a message to the fleet stressing the importance of remaining vigilant in the long-term battle against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), June 30.

Below is the text of CNO’s message:

“As we head into a well-deserved holiday weekend celebrating our nation’s independence, I want to convey how proud I am of our collective resilience and grit during this challenging time, and stress the importance of remaining vigilant in our long-term battle against the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Together, we have impressively adapted and maintained our edge in confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sustaining that hard-earned readiness is now dependent on each of us holding steadfast to the procedures, protocols and policies that keep COVID out of our commands.  Especially this weekend, each of us will be faced with temptations to cut corners and return to the ‘old normal.’

Do not do it. The health and safety of our Sailors and families is my number one priority.  Do not compromise yourself, your family or your friends and become the source of COVID-19 at your command. We must protect family and shipmates from this virus with the same intensity that we protect them from any adversary, with focus and conviction. We will remain socially distant, wash hands, wear face coverings, and avoid large groups.    

COVID is an insidious enemy, with roughly 35% of those acquiring COVID remaining asymptomatic. A single, healthy-feeling individual can unwittingly spread the disease to many others. COVID does not care how long it has been since you shook a hand, went to a bar, or hugged your grandparents. It can and will continue to spread with reckless abandon unless we stay united in defensive action. Together, we will rigorously maintain health protection measures to protect our Navy family and assure mission success even when it may appear the general public may be relaxing them.

An additional important layer of defense against this disease, given that the only way to uncover asymptomatic individuals is through testing, is the Surveillance Sentinel Testing (SST) that NAVADMIN 178/20 puts in place. SST tests a small percentage of our force routinely to help break the transmission of COVID-19, increase awareness across our force and provide greater health protection mission assurance.

I am extremely proud of the readiness we’ve maintained during these past few challenging months. More than one-third of the Navy is currently forward deployed, spending longer times at-sea with fewer port visits. These units, and many other ongoing examples of prioritizing service and country above self, demonstrate what makes us strong and a great Navy. My deep and sustained thanks as we continue to define and operate in this ‘new normal.’” (D.N.).


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