Diversity Inclusion Culture Excellence
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Culture of Excellence


Navy Medicine strives to create and maintain a work environment in which all members are treated with dignity, decency and respect.  We will continually foster an ethos of mutual respect by cultivating a Culture of Excellence (CoE) that propels higher social and ethical standards, demonstrates our core values, exhibits signature behaviors, and optimizes our collective human performance.  Only as a unified force, free from discrimination, harassment, inequality, prejudice and fraternization can we effectively work together to achieve operational readiness and project the medical power needed to support naval superiority.
            As our mission continues to grow our adversaries are getting stronger. The only way to meet these new challenges is by attracting, recruiting, and retaining diverse talent and promoting an inclusive culture across our workforce.  We cannot do that and win the Great Power Competition if we are spending valuable time and assets reacting to negative behaviors that have no place in our organization or in our Navy. 
            The time has come to act. We must create a culture that Promotes Respect, Dignity and Trust for Every Single Person, By Every Single Person.  
            For many years, the Navy Core Values have served as the bedrock that guided our behaviors and shaped our shared identity.  These values, coupled with our Navy Ethos and a sense of service to others before self, remind each of us that our sacred oath to country and shipmates should not be taken lightly.  Staff who model our Navy core values and embrace the Navy Ethos do not engage in demeaning or negative behaviors, nor condone these actions in others.  CoE is a Navy-wide change effort that moves beyond compliance with minimum behavior standards, norms and culture at every level to focusing on using signature behaviors to enhance our inclusive and diverse Navy team.  The creation and conservation of a CoE requires a commitment to the pageantry of signature behaviors and the abrogation of all barriers that deviate from positive norms.  
            These compiled policy statements provide deck plate types of behavior I expect every day from each member of Navy Medicine. 
            Through enforcement of policy, adherence to applicable law and regulation, and by education, Navy Medicine will seek to prevent, correct and discipline behavior that violates acceptable standards or seeks to erode the fabric of this organization or its daily operations.
                                                                              B. L. GILLINGHAM
                                                                              Rear Admiral, Medical Corps
                                                                              United States Navy
                                                                              Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Diversity and Inclusion 
            Across Navy Medicine, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is more than just words.  They are a reflex and the hard-and-fast principles guiding how we build teams, cultivate leaders and create an organizational culture where there is a deep sense of pride and belonging unified by a shared commitment to excellence, innovation and social responsibility.  We are fully committed to creating and maintaining an environment which supports D&I.
            As a highly reliable organization, Navy Medicine fully understands that its strength is dependent on its people and the different perspectives, talents, and abilities they bring to the workplace.  Prevailing today and adapting to the emerging security environment of tomorrow can only be done by the continued attraction of our nation's increasingly inclusive and diverse workforce.
            As the Surgeon General and Chief, BUMED, I am committed to the inclusion of our diverse collection of military and civilian Sailors into all aspects of the organization's operations.  Successfully including all personnel creates an environment that motivates innovation and provides fresh perspectives, which allows the Navy Medicine to reach its maximum warfighting potential.
            The DON's core values - Honor, Courage, and Commitment-reinforce our promise to respect others and provide equal opportunity for all people.  Practicing D&I principles allows Navy Medicine to fully leverage the wealth of knowledge, experience, and perspectives from our most valuable resource – Our People

Equal Employment Opportunity
            As the Surgeon General and Chief,  BUMED, I am committed to providing equal employment opportunity (EEO) for all civilian employees and applicants, regardless of their race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, age, genetic information (including family medical history), or disability.  All Navy Medicine employees are free to exercise their rights under the civil rights statutes.   
            In support of our Strategic plan and Human Capital efforts, all supervisors and managers are trained in, and must employ the best management practices and techniques for ensuring all employees and all civilian applicants the freedom to compete for workplace opportunities on a fair and level playing field, and that they are free from discrimination on any protected basis.  Attracting and retaining exceptional talent is critical to the success of our organization, and integrating equality of opportunity throughout the culture directly supports that effort.
            To that end, supervisors and managers of civilians maintain EEO proficiencies through required annual training and relevant EEO program engagement.  Additionally, the Department of the Navy ensures all of civilian employees remain informed of their EEO rights through required annual training, public postings, and other events.  EEO laws and requirements apply to all personnel/employment programs, management practices, and decisions, including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, merit promotion, transfer, reassignment, training and career development, benefits, and separation.
            Workplace harassment and retaliation will also not be tolerated and must be reported. All Navy Medicine civilian employees and military personnel are expected to take personal responsibility for reporting harassing conduct before it becomes severe or pervasive, and for creating and maintaining an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. Employees who feel they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination should contact their command's EEO office.
            Each of us must support an individual's right, without fear of retaliation, to: (1) participate in the EEO process; and (2) oppose employment practices that they believe to be discriminatory. Reporting unlawful discrimination, harassment, or reprisal is a statutory right. Retaliation for reporting unlawful discrimination will not be tolerated.  When requested by the employee, supervisors will allow individuals to seek guidance from Navy Medicine EEO at the earliest opportunity.  All employees must fully participate in investigations into allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation and may use a reasonable amount of work time to do so. Disciplinary action will be taken against those who retaliate against an employee who has exercised their right to report such behaviors, opposed discriminatory behaviors, or participated in the EEO process.  Similarly, corrective action will occur where an employee engages in discriminatory or harassing behavior based upon an employee's or applicant's protected categories.
            Any individual who believes that they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination is encouraged to report the issue through their chain of command, the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, Human Capital Management, the Office of General Counsel, or the Office of Professional Responsibility.  However, individuals who wish to pursue a discrimination complaint must do so through the Office of EEO within 45 days of the alleged incident or 45 days from the date the individual became aware of the alleged discrimination.  All allegations will be processed in accordance with the applicable regulations.
            For more information on the program, please contact Navy Medicine EEO. Our EEO staff can explain Federal anti-discrimination and affirmative employment laws, regulations, and policies.
            Integration of EEO principles throughout Navy Medicine requires more than compliance - it depends on our colleagues to maintain an atmosphere that fosters respect for all people. Prevention of unlawful discrimination is one of the greatest tools for our continued success.  Every member of our team must strive to fulfill both the letter of the law and its spirit, and to share in the responsibility of creating and preserving a Navy Medicine wide culture that clearly demonstrates our commitment to our organization's greatest strength and most valuable resource: Our people.
Fraternization and Consensual Romantic or Sexual relationships between managers  
            We have a Command-wide obligation to prevent fraternization.  Each manager and supervisor- both military and civilian – is expected to fully support all aspects of this policy and all members of this Command are responsible for conducting themselves in a professional manner consistent with the DON Fraternization policy.  The potential erosion of respect for the authority and leadership position of a senior in grade or rank can have an enormously negative effect on good order and discipline and seriously undermine our effectiveness.
            Fraternization describes personal relationships which contravene the customary bonds of acceptable senior-subordinate relationships.  These relationships are personal or unduly familiar (examples include: dating, shared living accommodations, intimate or sexual relations, commercial solicitations, private business partnerships, gambling, and borrowing money) and are prejudicial to good order and discipline (examples include: calls into question a senior’s objectivity, results in actual or apparent preferential treatment, undermines the authority or senior, and compromises the Chain of Command.  These relationships are also gender neutral.  Additionally, the responsibility for preventing inappropriate relationships rests primarily on the senior.  Although it has most commonly applied to officer-enlisted relationships, fraternization also includes improper relations and social interactions between officer members as well as between enlisted members, regardless of the service affiliation of the other officer and enlisted member, including members of foreign military services. 
            Personal relationships between officer and enlisted members; chief petty officers (CPO) (E-7 to E-9) and junior personnel (E-1 to E-6), who are assigned to the same command; staff or instructor and student personnel within Navy training commands, and between recruiting personnel and prospects, applicants, or delayed entry program personnel that are unduly familiar and that do not respect differences in grade or rank are prohibited.  All active duty personnel must comply with this policy.  I expect all Navy Medicine personnel to be afforded the opportunity to develop and progress without regard to prohibited personal relationships.  I do not condone fraternization and shall ensure that every alleged occurrence is investigated.
            Consensual romantic or sexual relationships between a manager or other supervisor and an employee who reports directly or indirectly to that person are strongly discouraged, because such relationships are unprofessional, and create conflicts of interest.  In addition, such a relationship may give rise to the perception by others that there is coercion, favoritism, or bias in employment decisions affecting the staff employee.  Moreover, given the uneven balance of power within such relationships, consent by the staff member may be given, or may be viewed by others, as having been given, as the result of coercion or intimidation, whether real or perceived.  These types of relationships may lead to allegations of sexual harassment, or may be perceived as such by other employees.
            The atmosphere created by such appearances of unprofessionalism, bias, favoritism, intimidation, coercion or exploitation undermines the spirit of trust and mutual respect that is essential to a healthy work environment.  If there is such a relationship, employees need to be cognizant of the optics and consult with their respective HR representative to avoid any potential issues or allegations of sexual harassment.
            This policy does not apply to members of Navy Medicine who do not work in the same department or where neither one supervises or otherwise manages responsibilities over the other.
Sexual Harassment & Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
            As the Surgeon General and Chief, BUMED, I am committed to a culture of dignity and respect, where sexual harassment and sexual assault are never tolerated, victims have access to comprehensive support, and offenders are held appropriately accountable.  I expect Navy Medicine military and civilian Sailors, at every level of leadership, to be personally responsible for demonstrating professional and ethical behavior in all settings, and at all times -while on duty, at home, and online.
            Sexual harassment and sexual assault are illegal; highly demeaning; reduce the efficiency of our organization; negatively impact team cohesion and mission readiness; and prevent the Navy from maintaining operational readiness.  Our organization is comprised of different demographics who work together to accomplish the mission. Each member is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and to work in an environment free from sexual harassment and unwanted sexual contact.  All personnel are responsible for promoting an environment that embodies signature behaviors, preventing sexual harassment and sexual assault. Acts of sexual harassment and sexual assault are contrary to the Navy core values of honor, courage and commitment.
            We must address and report conduct that is unacceptable and, where appropriate, ensure corrective action is promptly taken. Incidents cover a wide range of behaviors, from verbal comments to physical acts, and can be subtle or overt.  No person within Navy Medicine shall commit sexual harassment or sexual assault or take reprisal against an individual who opposes or reports incidents of this nature.   Any employee who encounters or is a witness to offensive behaviors is encouraged to intervene, when possible, and report all instances of such behavior swiftly to the appropriate point of contact. Every effort will be made to protect the privacy of all individuals throughout all phases.  Reprisal actions against any individual who makes a report is prohibited. Victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault will be treated with compassion, respect, and be offered care and advocacy as set forth by Department of Defense Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) policies.
            The Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) program promotes Equal Opportunity as being critical to mission accomplishment, unit cohesiveness, and military readiness.  Sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination will not be tolerated.  Service members who model the Navy core values do not engage in demeaning or negative behaviors nor condone these actions in others.  Those who commit sexual harassment will be subject to administrative or disciplinary action and may be subject to criminal prosecution.  Sexual harassment adversely affects good order and discipline, unit cohesion, and mission readiness, and prevents the Navy from maintaining operational readiness. Navy Medicine will monitor their command climate with respect to sexual harassment and sexual assault along the continuum of harm and ensure response capability is available at all Navy Medicine locations. 
            All members of Navy Medicine are expected to set the proper example of the highest ethical standards, on and off duty.  And as such, every member of our team is expected to actively work to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault at all times.  I am counting on each of you to join me in supporting these principles and stamping out sexual harassment and sexual assault in our workplace and in our Navy.
Workplace Anti-Discrimination and Harassment
            Navy Medicine is committed to providing a work environment for all employees that is free from discrimination, and harassment (both sexual and non-sexual), and to take proactive steps to prevent any form of harassment in the workplace.  Harassment based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, and reprisal for protected activity, is prohibited and will not be tolerated.  Navy Medicine remains committed to providing and maintaining a workplace environment of mutual trust, dignity, and respect.
            Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, defines harassment as unwelcome conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information.  Harassment becomes unlawful where: 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment; or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.  Harassing behavior can include, but is not limited to, epithets; slurs; jokes; name calling; obscene gestures or sounds; obscene, vulgar, or abusive language; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; physical assault; and written or graphic material on DON premises, or circulated in the workplace, including electronically ( i.e., e-mail texting, social media, etc.).  Navy Medicine has no tolerance for harassment. Allegations of workplace harassment, sexual and non-sexual, will be promptly, thoroughly, and impartially investigated and, where appropriate, corrective action will be taken.
            Navy Medicine employees are prohibited from engaging in harassing behaviors that offend, intimidate, or interfere with the work performance of others.  Any person who believes he or she has been the subject of harassment or who observes harassing conduct is expected to immediately report the matter to a management official or supervisor, or the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.  Any sailor or civilian employee who encounters workplace harassment should report the incident through appropriate channels.  Every leader must ensure that every reported incident is investigated immediately and thoroughly with corrective action taken as appropriate.  Navy Medicine will not tolerate adverse treatment of employees, because they report harassing conduct or provide information related to such complaints.
            All Navy Medicine personnel are required to receive biennial anti-harassment training and are responsible and accountable for acting promptly to prevent and eliminate harassment.  Every employee is also responsible for consistent, equitable, and professional behavior toward others.  Employees are prohibited from engaging in harassing behaviors that offend, intimidate, or interfere with the work performance of others.  Any person who believes he or she has been the subject of harassment or who observes harassing conduct is expected to immediately report the matter to the appropriate EO or EEO point of contact, or to a supervisor.
            Reports of harassment are confidential to the fullest extent possible without impeding an investigation into the allegations.  Management officials will refer allegations of misconduct within the timelines established and consult with the appropriate offices in considering the appropriate corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including removal, to ensure that no further harassing conduct occurs.  Navy Medicine Management officials have a duty to carry out their responsibilities under this policy, and failure to do so can result in disciplinary action.
            Inappropriate and unprofessional conduct, such as misconduct based on marital status or political affiliation, violates Merit Systems Protection principles as a prohibited personnel practice under 5 U.S.C. § 2302.
            Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and DON policy also prohibits retaliation against individuals who file a Title VII discrimination charge, testify, or participate in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under Title VII.  Retaliation is also prohibited against individuals who oppose employment practices that they reasonably believe violate anti-discrimination laws.
            I am counting on every employee to be proactive in preventing harassment and maintaining an atmosphere of respect and professionalism.

(Navy Medicine Policy Statements Culture of Excellence - PDF)

“Signature Behaviors of the 21st Century Sailor” manual

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