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Equal Opportunity and Prevention of Sexual Harassment Program (EO/POSH)

What is it?
The Armys Equal Opportunity (EO) and prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) programs formulate, direct, and sustain a comprehensive effort to maximize human potential and to ensure fair treatment for all persons based solely on merit, fitness, and capability in support of readiness. These programs strive to eliminate incidents of discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, or national origin and provide an environment free of unlawful discrimination, offensive behavior, or sexual harassment. Commanders at all levels are responsible for sustaining a positive equal opportunity climate within their units. The goals of the Army EO Program are to:

  • Provide EO for Soldiers and their Families, both on and off post and within the limits of the laws of localities, states, and host nations.
  • Create and sustain effective units by eliminating discriminatory behaviors or practices that undermine teamwork, mutual respect, loyalty, and shared sacrifice of the men and women of America's Army.

What has the Army done?
The Army continues to address EO and POSH focusing on command climate and prevention. The Armys EO and POSH policy is outlined in Chapters 6 and 7 and Appendices D and E of Army Regulation 600-20 (Army Command Policy), Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA Pam) 600-26, (Department of the Army Affirmative Action Plan) and DA Pam 600-69, (Unit Climate Profile Commander's Handbook). Significant components of the Army EO and POSH Programs include:

  • Equal Opportunity Program Managers (EOPMs). The EOPMs are assigned at division level agencies and higher. They assist the commander in EO training, and continuously assess the command climate to identify indicators of individual and institutional discrimination and sexual harassment.
  • Equal Opportunity Advisors (EOAs). The EOAs are assigned to the special staff of commanders at installations, organizations, and agencies that are brigade-level (or equivalent) and higher.
  • Equal Opportunity Representatives (EORs). The EORs are appointed at battalion- level or equivalent and below and assist commanders in carrying out EO Program within their units.
  • Command Climate Survey. Company level commanders or equivalents will administer the command climate survey within 90 days (Active Component) or 180 days (Army National Guard and Army Reserve) of assuming command and annually thereafter.
  • Ethnic Observances. The EO special/ethnic observances are conducted to enhance cross-cultural awareness among Soldiers, Civilian employees, and their Families. These observances recognize the achievements and contributions made by members of specific racial, ethnic, or gender groups in our society. The following groups/events are currently recognized: Martin Luther King, Jr.s Birthday, African-American/Black History Month, Women's History Month, Days of Remembrance for Victims of the Holocaust, Asian Pacific Heritage Month, Women's Equality Day, National Hispanic Heritage Month, and National Native American Indian Heritage Month.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will transform the EO and POSH program policy to infuse EO into the full spectrum of Army operations and strategically focus the foundation of the human relations program within the Army. The Equal Opportunity Reporting System will be upgraded to provide automated reports and the Army will implement the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Organizational Climate Survey as the official climate survey for the Army.

Why is this important to the Army?
We are now engaged in the third longest war in our Nation's history, behind only the Revolutionary War and Vietnam. It is the only extended conflict since the Revolutionary War that we have fought with an All-Volunteer Force. Bonuses and incentives to continue service are at an all time high. The significant and accelerating cost of personnel and related programs account for 36 percent of the Department of the Army's total obligation authority. Therefore, Army human capital management needs to be proactive, agile, and cost-effective to recruit, train, retain, and employ our future force. The EO program is a vital part of sustaining personnel readiness from the human dimension.

 

 
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