Diversity is the condition that permits people with different characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical disabilities, socio-economic status, nationality, language, religion, and age; be included in a group or organization. Diversity is found at the workplace, school, neighborhood, society, and everywhere. Cultural diversity has been an important key in the development of our country. Cultural diversity makes a stronger and highly capable Armed Forces ready to win in the warfare environment.
People with different backgrounds and life experiences can generate ideas or perspectives that others did not consider.
Interacting with a diverse group of people, help us to have a better communication and understand the different cultures and traditions that are different to ours. Our perspective of how we see the world change, we develop tolerance and acceptance for people that are different to us, and we discover that we share more things in common than we think. An organization that has a diverse group of people, will grow and be successful, with a good foundation to enforce the importance of diversity.
We will have the power to change the mindset, seeking for people with values, skills, and abilities that can improve our organization, rather than be looking people’s origins or orientation.
Our country has been a culturally diverse place from the beginning. Native American tribes, were in this land when first settlers arrived, and each tribe interacted with the settlers differently. The foundations of the first settlements were already widely diverse. Over the last 70 years, Mexican, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and Asian peoples have immigrated to our country in great numbers.
Today, these diverse people open businesses and have been, responsible for the construction of America’s growing economy. Many immigrants gain their US citizenship living as honorable citizens or honorable Soldiers who enlist in the Armed Forces, making our country even more diverse.
In an article published in November of 2016, estimates that between 1999 and 2010, about 80,000 immigrants joined the Armed Forces. Around 24,000 immigrants were on active duty in 2012, and about 5,000 immigrants joined each year. In 2013, 3,862 noncitizens enlisted just in the Army and Army Reserve. The Army is the Strength of the Nation and a leader in opportunities for diverse people. Army has a long tradition history of diversity since President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order that led to Equality of Treatment in the Armed Forces.
Diversity makes our Army strong. We take young men and women from different backgrounds, cultures, personality, and values; turning them into a force with a common focus, the defense of our great nation and way of life. Today, military leaders make possible the cohesiveness of American military Soldiers from various backgrounds and cultures. This cohesiveness is achieved by our Noncommissioned Officers, our “backbone of the Army.” Today’s NCO is an innovative, competent and professional enlisted leader grounded in heritage, values, and traditions who understands the young men and women of our modern society. Our NCOs are capable of leading, training and motivating our diverse teams and enforcing common standards for them all, putting them aside and be the dominant fighting force that we are. The Army is such a place because of its NCOs.
We must continue to improve our understanding of the importance of Diversity in our society. The success of an organization has nothing to do with the color of the skin, nationality, or sexual orientation of the people; instead, it is to our benefit interact with those who poses diverse talents, skills, and attributes that derive from their backgrounds and experiences. The Army is an environment where every Soldier is valued and challenged to achieve their potential while executing their duties and the Army’s mission. Army leaders must emphasize that our diversity is a natural element of our culture. NCOs are the standard keepers for that culture. Our NCOs embody the concept of adaptability for our Soldiers and that is why they can take our diversity and turn it into our strength. Finally, “Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without.” (William Sloane Coffin Jr.)