In a celebration of its sensitivity on Monday, the Defense Department unveiled a revised document celebrating the department’s “diversity” and “culture of inclusion.”
“I’m proud that the language of the charter has been updated to reflect the contributions of gay and lesbian military personnel, who now serve openly and proudly across America’s armed forces,” Defense Department Secretary Chuck Hagel said as he and the nation’s top military leaders signed the document at a public ceremony.
The 2014 Human Goals charter says the Defense Department “must show respect for Service members, civilian employees, and family members, recognizing their individual needs, aspirations and capabilities.” It lists 10 ways to make that happen, using phrases such as “equal opportunity,” “mutual respect,” and “the improvement of our society.”
“As the charter says, we will continue striving to make military service a model, a model of equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation or national origin,” Hagel said. “That’s who we are. That’s who we are as a country and who we must be as a military. We have to live the values we defend. And America’s all-volunteer force is at its best when it reflects all the people of our nation.”