"Lists Three Basic Functions of Office: Equal Opportunity Chief Explains Objectives."
Commander's Digest. Vol. 12, no. 2. Washington, D.C. GPO, May 18, 1972. P. 3-4.
SuDoc No.: D2.15/2
Donald L. Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Equal Opportunity) cites three basic
functions of his office: 1) "Equal opportunity and treatment for military personnel
and their dependents, on and off post, worldwide." 2) "Equal employment opportunity
for civilian employees of the Department of Defense." 3) "Contract compliance for
the thousands of individual contractors dealing with the Department of Defense."
Lists Three Basic Functions of Office: Equal Opportunity Chief Explains Objectives.
Donald L. Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Equal Opportunity), explained the
Defense Department's overall equal opportunity program Feb. [5?] at the U.S. Army Command
and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
Early in his talk, he outlined the purpose of his office, which, he said, "is to provide
guidance to the Military Services in the area of equal opportunity and to monitor compliance
and program implementation. This is normally accomplished on the one hand by periodic reports
and, on the other, by personal visits to posts, camps and stations worldwide."
He listed the three basic functions of his office:
Mr. Miller said that when he was named to his position in December 1971, he committed himself
to several personal goals and objectives, including:
- Equal opportunity and treatment for military personnel and their dependents, on and off
- Equal opportunity for civilian employees of the Department of Defense.
- Contract compliance for the thousands of individual contractors dealing with the Department
After reorganizing his office, he said the next step was to thoroughly review ongoing programs.
He mentioned a few that have been recently strengthened or initiated:
- To cause a clear understanding of – and committment to – the Human Goals credo
by everyone throughout the Department; and
- To bring into balance the representation of minority-group personnel within all the Services
and their components, and in all professions, specialties, activities, ranks and grades, thus
truly making the Department a model of equal opportunity.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary noted that the Army and the other Services are working on racial
imbalance, and pointed out that the Army recently expanded its Reserve Officers Training Corps
(ROTC) units at predominantly black colleges by two (at Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical and
Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical Universities) to a total of 16. Special recruiting efforts
and objectives are in effect both for West Point and officer candidate schools.
- The establishment of the Defense Race Relations Institute (DRRI) at Patrick Air Force Base,
Florida. DRRI's primary mission is to train instructor teams for the Army, Navy and Air Force
who will return to units and conduct race relations seminars as a principal duty assignment.
- The designation of equal opportunity staff officers throughout the Services and at all
echelons of command, who will primarily develop and monitor comprehensive affirmative action
programs designed to insure that every aspect of every activity within the command is fully
responsive to the needs and aspirations of every member of that command regardless of race,
creed, sex or national origin.
- The establishment of equal opportunity or human relations councils between majority groups
and to broaden the commander's and staff's information base.
- The establishment of a Task Force on the Administration of Military Justice in the Armed
Forces, with a mission to study thoroughly and report the impact of race on the administration
of military justice in the Armed Forces.
Mr. Miller said: "...America and indeed its Armed Services have been called the melting
pot, yet, in many ways, they have not fully melted, especially when it comes to those of us,
those of you, whose physical characteristics imbue them with more visible differences... The
Army [is] a flexible, viable and – no matter what others may say – essentially a
humane institution. As a body, it is striving to meet the challenge."
He encouraged his audience to recognize that "every soldier, every serviceman, every human
being is a unique individual endowed by his ethnic origins, background and experiences with
problems and needs which require unique and individualistic solutions. No more, but surely,
"What," he asked his audience, "are our responsibilities in the overall scheme of
things? How does the equal opportunity program affect you?" He suggested several
questions to be considered in insuring equal opportunity and treatment for all servicemen
and their dependents – on and off post:
Later in his talk, Mr. Miller asserted that all military supervisors and their civilian
subordinates have additional responsibilities in carrying out affirmative action and
prevention of discrimination in the career experience of the Defense Department's one
million civilian employees. He noted that, between Nov. 30, 1969 and May 31, 1971 –
at a time when DoD employment declined by some 20 per cent – DoD managers, through
affirmative action and skillful personnel management, were able to increase the number of
black and Spanish-surnamed Americans in both executive senior-level positions and
- Are proper affirmative actions being taken to develop racial harmony?
- Are proper affirmative actions being taken to insure that minority-group soldiers get an
equal crack at prestigious assignments and are not clustered in certain types of jobs and
- Are proper affirmative actions being taken to insure that minority-group soldiers get
equal consideration for promotion and advancement?
- Are proper affirmative actions being taken to insure that the administration of military
justice – including nonjudicial punishment and pretrial confinement procedures –
is not influenced even in a subtle manner by race or by ethnic and cultural style of life?
- Are proper affirmative actions being taken to insure that every facet of official and
unofficial unit and post activity is fully responsive to the entire command?
- Are proper affirmative actions being taken to remove and officially censure those who are
found unable to commit themselves to the goals and the objectives of the equal opportunity
However, he stressed that "preliminary reports to me show that we have a long road to
travel to achieve parity between minority employees and others in DoD employment. Specifically,
we have gross deficiencies in the number of minority executives at policy levels (GS-16
DoD also has an equal opportunity responsibility, Mr. Miller said, covering nearly 20 million
jobs and over 50,000 contractor establishments throughout the U.S. with contracts in force
totaling in excess of $60 billion, and including almost every major industrial company and
large construction contractor on DoD installations and projects.
"Since 1969," he said, "we have doubled the professional manpower and fiscal
resources devoted to this important responsibility (171 to 342) and have improved minority
He used the textile industry as an example, saying it was one of the chief projects in the DoD
industry program. Between 1968 and the present time, he said "total minority employment
has increased in our five largest textile contractors... by nearly 50 per cent (female minority
employment in these same companies has increased by 118 per cent). In our largest aerospace
companies, total employment has fallen by 29 per cent, but minority employment has increased
during this same time by one per cent.
"Through a major effort to deposit various DoD-related funds in minority-owned banks,"
he went on, "we have succeeded in providing program support in the amount of $12.5 million
in one year. This amount is still on the increase and we are pleased at this DoD contribution
to an important Presidential program... DoD is conducting a similar program to increase the
number of concessions owned or operated by minorities on our installations and to support
manpower training programs with surplus and excess equipment...
"What I hope," Mr. Miller concluded, "is that we have talked enough; that we
will commit ourselves as leaders to implementing Secretary Laird's Human Goals program
now... As commissioned officers and leaders of men, there is no other choice."