If you happen upon a door marked ‘U.S. Army Equity and Inclusion Agency, it might likely raise interest about what is happening inside. A door on Fort Belvoir happens to be marked just that way. Inside, a committed team of professionals is responsible for developing ways to build an Army culture of access, opportunity and inclusion by ensuring contributions and participation of all.
In March 2021, the Secretary of the Army appointed Anselm Beach as the Senior Advisor for Diversity and Inclusion in keeping with the provisions in the FY 21 National Defense Authorization Act.
Beach and his team are responsible for advising the secretary of the Army on diversity and maintaining a culture that values diversity and inclusion to maximize the readiness potential of every Soldier, civilian, and family member.
“Education and understanding were always important for me growing up,” said Beach. “They were the guiding principles in my household where I learned early about life experience and opportunities.”
Beach enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1985, where he served as a 52D Power Generation Equipment Repairer. Progressing quickly through the ranks, as a sergeant first class, he was introduced to the Army’s Equal Opportunity Program where his interests in diversity and inclusion sparked.
From serving as an equal opportunity leader in uniform, to chief of the diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity Office at the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC; and director of diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity at US Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, the path that Beach took to become the senior advisor for the DEI Department seemed almost certain.
“I came into this job with a different mindset,” said Beach. “The reason why I’m so passionate about equity, and inclusion is because I see it as a way to navigate uncertainty and a way the Army can address complex issues as it relates to people.”
Beach said that talent management is one of the most important things in order for the Army to be successful and that difficult conversations have to take place and get resolved within the ranks.
The U.S. Army Equity and Inclusion Agency works closely to address the issues of equal opportunity as it relates to fair treatment across the Army enterprise.
“In order for the Army to solve these complex problems, we need to understand what diversity truly is and the value it brings; and ensure leaders at every level are included in the discussion,” said Beach. “We must be engaged leaders who build cohesive teams where our people can grow to reach their greatest potential.”