The Pentagon has published an “Equity Action Plan” detailing its progress in implementing President Joe Biden’s very first executive order and outlining what the US military intends to do next to embed the idea of “equity” in everything it does – ranging from embracing transgender soliders to making sure artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t racist.
The military is committed to having “a holistic strategy for continuing to cultivate enduring and equitable change,” said the document, dated April 13 but made publicly available on Friday. The plan was mandated by executive order 13985, the first thing Biden signed after taking the oath of office in January 2021.
As some of the examples of what the Pentagon has already done, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pointed to the February 2021 “stand-down” to warn all DOD personnel of “extremist ideologies” that will not be tolerated in the military, and reversing the Trump administration’s prohibitions on the use of critical race theory and transgender Americans serving in the military.
Current DOD policy “provides a means by which transitioning Service members may obtain gender-affirming medical treatment and recognition of their self-identified gender, and seeks to protect the privacy of all Service members,” the Pentagon noted in the report.
As for future goals, the plan envisions a five-point strategy to embed “equity” into everything the military does, starting an “ambitious equitable procurement and contracting agenda” that would reorganize the entire supply chain and give more opportunities for “small disadvantaged businesses” and “traditionally underserved entrepreneurs” to get Pentagon contracts.