Harnessing diversity to strengthen our sea services

Posted on behalf of ADM Papp.

Admiral Bob Papp addressing Coasties at the 2010 NNOA-ANSO Professional Development and Training Symposium. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Admiral Bob Papp addressing Coasties at the 2010 NNOA-ANSO Professional Development and Training Symposium. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

It was a privilege and honor to participate in the first joint National Naval Officers Association and Association of Naval Service Officers Professional Development and Training Conference held in Portsmouth, VA. I was thrilled to see the strong Coast Guard contingent, roughly 250 members, who attended the conference. I fully support and take great pride in the relationships I have with these two organizations.

The challenge from this conference is for us to harness diversity to strengthen our sea services – how can we recruit and retain a workforce that allows us to bring within our ranks and benefit from the diversity of people that are today’s America? The good news is that we have a comprehensive diversity plan that I am committed to implementing. I realize that having a plan is just the first step; we must now stand a taut watch to see our plan to execution.

ADM Papp poses for a photo with Lt. Lushan Hannah, Lt. Cmdr. Richard Angelet and Lt. Cmdr. Christy Rutherford.

ADM Papp poses for a photo with Lt. Lushan Hannah, Lt. Cmdr. Richard Angelet and Lt. Cmdr. Christy Rutherford.

The comprehensive diversity plan has five basic goals:

1) Assure a diverse workforce through all-hands commitment with leadership accountability;
2) Fully utilize communication and focus groups to improve workforce cultural climate;
3) Expand outreach to underrepresented populations;
4) Equitable hiring and career opportunities for all employees, and;
5) Optimize training and education to emphasize the value of a diverse workforce.

I am similarly committed to working to ensure that the Coast Guard is the service of choice for all Americans – that there is unfettered access for all who wish to join our ranks. Unfettered access allows for two things to happen. First, by reaching out into communities that may have not historically sought out careers in the sea services, we make these communities aware of the opportunity to serve. Second, our sea services get the benefit of an expanded group of potential members, with their unique individual competencies, capacities and experiences from which to select for service. Unfettered access results in more opportunity and more choice. The Coast Guard can draw strength and spirit from new prospective – informed by different heritages we can take new approaches, broaden our view of the possible, and by doing so we enrich our Service and one another.

One of the great contributions that affinity organizations like the National Naval Officers Association and Association of Naval Service Officers provide is assistance with enhancing diversity. During my tenure as Commandant, I will look to them for support and assistance in recruiting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce.

Semper Paratus,
Admiral Bob Papp
Commandant


  • A Friend On The Sidelines

    We need to change the cultural make up of the CG. It is too white, too right and behind the rest of the country. Every single COMDT has been white male from the CGA. Frankly I can never aspire ot be a white male. So ….change or have it thrust upon the service.

  • A former Coastie

    The USCG is probably the most liberal of all the services. The recruiters are in fact held to a quota whereby they can only accept so many “white” men. This is a branch of the military not a social club. It’s time to recruit the best, no matter what their color is. Political correctness is going to ruin the service. If you want “diversity” become a civilian government employee.

  • Admiral Bob Papp

    A Friend On The Sidelines, you are correct that we need to change the cultural make up of the Coast Guard. However, we cannot change the past. We must look ahead and work together toward this important goal. One way that we as a service are accomplishing this is through the diversity plan outlined in my post. This plan has already seen recent successes in minority recruitment at the Coast Guard Academy and in the military recruiting process this past year. For example, the Coast Guard Academy class of 2014 is 23.9% minority and 31% female, an increase over the class of 2013, which was 15.5% minority and 29.7% female. Recruiting minorities is an important step that we must complete if we are going to change the Coast Guard’s cultural make up and we are steaming ahead on that course.

    Admiral Bob Papp
    Commandant

  • http://yahoo Nancy Johnsen

    A former Coastie says:
    August 2, 2010 at 9:38 pm
    The USCG is probably the most liberal of all the services. The recruiters are in fact held to a quota whereby they can only accept so many “white” men. This is a branch of the military not a social club. It’s time to recruit the best, no matter what their color is. Political correctness is going to ruin the service. If you want “diversity” become a civilian government employee.

    And I agree with this former Coastie’s statement because it is honest and truthful, not politically pandering to affirmative action. The best candidate – period. When will the reverse discrimination stop? When we have 100% females? 100% blacks? 100% Native Americans? The BEST candidate – PERIOD.

  • Otro Americano

    Minorities would like to serve there country too. Its melancholy that simple concept is not understood.

  • http://yahoo Nancy Johnsen

    A) Caucasians are the minority now – do the research.
    B) You want to serve? So who is stopping you. Work toward it. Caucasians get turned down for jobs for being white even after we have worked for it – it’s called affirmative action and reverse discrimination.
    C) I repeat: Get an education, study your tail off like my child did, have an objective, respectful attitude and manners, and go for it. And if you don’t achieve your goal, don’t blame it on anyone else but yourself.
    D) The correct grammatical sentence is: Minorities would like to serve THEIR country too, not there as in over there, also and “Its” is incorrect, as in “its tail, its freedom”. The correct usage is “it’s” as in “it is”.

    It’s that simple a concept. The military has no place, albeit the entire planet, has no place for self pity or scapegoats or political correctiveness.

  • Coastie Brat

    RIDDLE: Which is more important ?

    Diversity ? or Unity ?

    ANSWER: Written in Latin on every US coin !

  • Truthsayer

    I did not see anyone turning down help from the CG during Hurricane Katrina because the helping hand happened to be white. I don’t think anyone bobbing alone on angry sea in a life jacket or raft is going to care what color or gender the hand is that plucks them from certain death. Discrimination as I see it is treating one class of people differently based solely on the color of their skin or gender and it’s wrong no matter how you try to rationalize it!

  • Former CG Officer

    It is very disheartening to see the frustration written about reverse discrimination and diversity. The very spirit that is against diversity is also the same spirit that champions racism in most cases. The argument that the best person should be hired period, is a valid argument. Diversity simply says that the best person may not look like you expect him/her to, and you must open the pool for everyone. Quotas are wrong when the playing field is fair. The playing field in America, is what has been the problem (social, economical). Those things are changing, and prejudice persons, which cover everybody in some way have to accept that and grow up.

  • RMM

    QUALIFIED personnel in the Coast Guard, and the other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces should receive recognition, regardless of their skin shade, period. I did not serve in the Coast Guard, but I did serve HONORABLY in the United States Army. During my time in the service,(I served during the eighties) I got along with my fellow soldiers, regardless of race and I did not receive any sort of diversity training. It was not needed. Nor was affirmative action. Qualified personnel were promoted, regardless of race. A friend on the sidelines said, and I quote: “Frankly, I can never aspire to be a white male”. Frankly, that remark smacks of bigotry.