Q: The Department of Defense's 13-point action plan to
eliminate all forms of harassment, including that based on sexual
orientation, calls for the treatment of all individuals with dignity
and respect, according to Undersecretary of the Air Force Carol
"Mistreatment, harassment and inappropriate comments or gestures
undermine (good order and discipline) and have no place in our armed
forces," said Undersecretary DiBattiste
is it ok ?
A: This belief forms the basis of the DOD anti-harassment plan, developed by a working group comprised of senior civilian and military officials from each service and chaired by the Air Force undersecretary. The working group, established by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, reviewed the DOD inspector general's "Report on the Military Environment with Respect to the Homosexual Conduct Policy," and developed an action plan to address the findings of the report, said Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Bernard D. Rostker. According to Under-secretary DiBattiste, DOD will issue a single, department-wide directive making it clear that mistreatment, harassment and inappropriate comments or gestures - including those based on sexual orientation - are not acceptable. The directive also mandates that commanders and leaders be held accountable for failure to enforce this anti-harassment policy. "Commanders and leaders must develop and maintain a climate that fosters unit cohesion, esprit de corps and mutual respect for all members of the command or organization," she said. "Our working group focused on training as an essential method for eliminating harassment. We recommended that each service measure training and its effectiveness in three areas: knowledge (whether people understand the policies), behavior and climate. "We are also recommending that the services must review their training programs on the homosexual conduct and anti-harassment policies annually to provide tailored training to all levels of supervision on the various enforcement measures available.
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