"Working for Equal Opportunity: In the Office of Assistant SecNav."
All Hands. no. 651. Washington, D.C. GPO, April 1971. P. 12-13.
SuDoc No.: D208.3
Profiles the role of Special Assistant (Equal Opportunity) John Burroughs as a liaison between
the "operational levels of the Navy in the area of equal opportunity and race relations"
and the Secretary of the Navy.
Liaison between the Navy Secretariat and the operational levels of the Navy in the area of equal
opportunity and race relations is the primary duty of Mr. John A. Burroughs, Jr., Special
Assistant (equal opportunity) to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve
Affairs) the Honorable James D. Hittle. Mr. Burroughs makes policy recommendations on race
relations matters and advises SecNav of the Navy's progress in the area.
Mr. Burroughs was appointed to his position in June 1970. He came to his Pentagon office from
the Navy's Office of Civilian Manpower and Management (OCMM) where he was an employee relations
specialist. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Iowa (1959)
where he also was a star left tackle on the Iowa Rose Bowl teams of 1956 and 1959. Before joining
the government as a public servant, he was drafted by, and played for, the professional
"It is the policy of the Department of the Navy to provide equality of treatment and
opportunity for its military and civilian members without regard to irrelevant considerations
such as race, color, religion, sex, or national origin," he said, "but unfortunately
this policy of equal opportunity has not completely permeated the minority community, and the
Navy suffers a disparaged image in that community." He added, "We are making positive
attempts to rectify all of this by making the minority community aware that the Navy is in fact
a place where true equality of opportunity exists."
As chief adviser on minority matters both to Secretary Hittle and the Secretary of the Navy, Mr.
Burroughs provides a minority input to the Secretariat on such matters as minority advertising,
race relations programs, establishment of NROTC units at black colleges, minority research
projects, and the Navy's participation in Domestic Action Projects (DAP). Mr. Burroughs also
works closely with DOD officials involved in equal opportunity and race relations matters.
Late in 1970, Mr. Burroughs made extended trips to various naval bases around the United States,
reviewing the Navy's effectiveness in employing youngsters under the auspices of the 1970 Federal
Summer Employment Program. Mr. Burroughs was extremely impressed with the Navy's efforts to
employ youngsters, many of whom were trained in meaningful positions.
Mr. Burroughs was equally impressed with Domestic Action Projects at the various bases he visited.
For the most part, these programs provide recreational and educational opportunities to
disadvantaged youngsters. "Each year the Navy employs 18,000 youngsters in the Summer
Employment Program," said Mr. Burroughs, "but recent budget constraints have seriously
affected our ability to meet our summer employment goal. We have made representations to DOD
officials to have certain funds specifically earmarked for the Summer Employment Program."
Mr. Burroughs is also concerned about civilian employment and has made numerous trips to Navy
activities to address employees on the Navy's Equal Employment Opportunity Program. The most
recent one was to the Public Works Center (PWC) at Norfolk, Va., where he addressed PWC
supervisory personnel on the Navy's over-all EEO Program.
Since the inception of the plan, many government officials have, informally at least, supported
the establishment of numerical goals and timetables as a "means of achieving progress in
the equal employment opportunity area," he commented. "We are in the process of
amending the Navy-wide Affirmative Action Plan to include the use of numerical goals and
timetables. We feel this will go a long way in the establishment of the Navy's goal of a fully
integrated [fighting?] force." This will be covered in a later report.