Active-Duty Officer Promotion and Command Selection Processes: Considerations for Race/Ethnicity and Gender [Version 3] [open pdf - 427KB]
"Two MLDC [Military Leadership Diversity Commission] charter tasks directed the commissioners to evaluate whether the officer promotion and command selection systems provide fair opportunities to both men and women and members of all race/ethnicity groups. Using Service briefings and other information provided to the MLDC, this Issue Paper (IP) describes key features of the promotion and command selection processes and discusses how they may accentuate or mitigate the potential for bias in the selection of officers for promotion or command. Overall, the promotion and command selection board processes include a number of features that attempt to impart fairness and to mitigate the impact of bias on the part of an individual board member. For example, selections are made not by a single individual but by multi-member boards that are, to the extent possible, demographically representative of the pool of candidates. Furthermore, the guidance to these boards-- which can be in the form of precepts, instructions, or actual laws--requires that selections be made based on the needs of the Services and the best and fully qualified criterion, without regard to race, ethnicity or gender. No matter how carefully designed, however, the board processes cannot address the impact of unfairness that occurs before they begin. Specifically, the competitiveness of an officer's record depends on his or her career and assignment history and on supervisors' assessments of his or her performance in each position."
Military Leadership Diversity Commission Issue Paper No. 34
Department of Defense Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity: http://diversity.defense.gov/