REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The commander of one of four Army Commands emphasized the value of diversity, equity and inclusion to the Army during a recent Equal Employment Opportunity meeting at Army Materiel Command headquarters.

"EEO is an Army mission, not an extra duty," said AMC Commanding General Gen. Gus Perna. "EEO is a continual and consistent process, and we have to lead our way through it."

Perna's comments were made during a Major Subordinate Commands' Management Directive 715 Meeting June 6 with commanders of all 10 MSCs that report to AMC. MD 715 is policy guidance provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to Federal agencies. The directive provides a roadmap for creating effective EEO programs as required for all Federal employees.

As a strategic tool, MD 715 assists senior leaders in developing action plans to establish and maintain effective affirmative employment programs designed to encourage and increase diversity, equity and inclusion. The directive provides guidance and prevents discrimination in the areas of recruitment, promotion and retention of members of a particular race, religion, gender or individuals with disabilities.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issues directives each year that are mandatory for all Federal agencies. MD 715 is designed to ensure the Army and AMC sustains a diverse and inclusive workforce.

The MD 715 meeting with Perna allowed MSC commanders to provide an individual assessment of their EEO programs, and to report on their self-assessment, goals, accomplishments, initiatives and challenges.

Understanding equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of racial and ethnic disparities within society, said Tora Henry, AMC's EEO manager. Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and does feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued to fully participate.

AMC's best stance in fulfilling the requirements of MD 715, Perna said, is to live and work by the Army values of dignity, respect, loyalty and duty.

"Treat people with dignity and respect; and strive to promote and select the best and brightest," Perna said.

Ensuring diversity and inclusion in every aspect of building and maintaining readiness is important to the Army and the AMC mission, Perna said.