Racist and sexist speech and discriminatory actions have no place in America's Navy, and the service branch is mounting a determined campaign to root them out. That's the strong message from the Navy's comprehensive new study of diversity and equality — or the lack thereof — in the ranks.
The study's frank findings and thoughtful recommendations make a promising start toward confronting the discrimination, hate speech and hostile environments that persist despite years of reform efforts.
Of course, racism, white nationalism and other unacceptable and potentially dangerous behaviors aren't unique to the Navy. Task Force One Navy, which conducted the study, was established in the wake of racial justice protests across the United States last summer. Other military branches are mounting similar efforts.
In fact, the study found that in regard to race, the Navy is more diverse than the nation as a whole, although it has a ways go when it comes to equal access for promotion to senior positions, as well as in equal opportunities for women.
Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey, one of the Navy's few Black admirals, led the task force, which is commendable for its scope and calls to action.
Adm. Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, acknowledged that the Navy has "fallen short" in the past by denying full opportunities "on the basis of race, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender or creed." He said the Navy should be a "shining example" of an inclusive workforce.
Working toward that goal will be good for the Navy, making it stronger and more effective. It will be good for the people who are allowed to serve our country to the best of their abilities.
It will also be good for the country.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE VIRGINIA-PILOT