U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-1st dist.) joined seven colleagues to introduce legislation that would codify amendments included in the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act to foster and improve diversity and inclusion within the armed services.
“As a FBI Supervisory Special Agent, I saw firsthand that diversity is incredibly important and can contribute so much to any organization’s mission. Our armed forces have always led the way, and we should be doing everything we can to foster an even more inclusive military,” Fitzpatrick said. “I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will make our military — the greatest fighting force in the world — even better.”
The bill includes the following provisions: establishes a chief diversity officer for the Department of Defense; requires each secretary of a military department to submit a report to the Armed Services Committees summarizing the gender and race of each individual who received an appointment under section 531 or 601 of Title 10 during the immediately preceding fiscal year; establishment of a mentoring and career counseling program; directs the secretary of defense and the secretary of each military department to develop plans to increase female and minority representation in recruiting, retention and ranks above the grade of E-7; and directs the department to carry out a pilot program to enable the establishment of offices to issue maternity-related uniform items to pregnant members of the armed forces on a temporary basis at no cost to the servicemember.