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Chafee, John H. "Navy Policy: Secretary of the Navy." Commander's Digest. Vol. 12, no. 2. Washington, D.C. GPO, May 18, 1972. P. 8.

SuDoc No.: D2.15/2

Insert abstract here....


Navy Policy: Secretary of the Navy

John H. Chafee

  • One of the greatest challenges we face in this country is the challenge of solving the problems of racial discrimination.

  • What this problem requires is constant command attention. It requires my attention. It requires the attention of everybody in the Navy and Marine Corps – the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant – everybody.

  • There has been discrimination in the Navy as there has been in the rest of the country.

  • We are a reflection of society as a whole... If the family background has been one of prejudice... young men carry prejudice with them into the Armed Services. We can't eradicate those views overnight. It takes persuasion. It takes education. It takes command attention. But I think we are starting to do an excellent job.

  • We have a black Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Mr. James Johnson, who is the Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. He is the highest-level black Presidential appointee in the Department of Defense, and we are pretty proud that in the Navy we have such a man.

  • We have Project BOOST, now three years old. Under this program, able minority men are selected and trained with a year of special schooling to prepare them for entry into officer programs and for college education at Navy expense.

  • We've worked extremely hard over the past three years to bring minorities into the Navy's civilian work force and to provide equal opportunity for promotion.

  • "Equal opportunity," of course, means just that. When an opening comes up, say, for promotion to second class, you don't say, "Well, this man is black, and therefore he should be promoted to electrician's mate second class." He may not have the educational background for it. What you do then is open up educational opportunities so the man can learn to become an electrician's mate second class. We don't work on any quota basis... What we try to do is give the opportunity for the man who wants to get ahead to get ahead.
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