Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Military Agency Focuses On Increased Religious Diversity

As religious diversity in the military grows, a little known Department of Defense agency has been conducting research and is offering training to government personnel on the issue. The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute , as part of its mission, focuses on the growing religious diversity within DOD and among those with whom the Department deals. A Religion Clause reader mentioned the initiative to me, and I asked her to give me more information. Here is the description from Charlotte E. Hunter, CDR, CHC, USN, who is part of the program:

The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), a Department of Defense (DoD) agency, is the U.S. military's premiere organization dedicated to promoting understanding of and respect for equal opportunity, diversity, and cultural competency within the military Services and other federal agencies. One critical facet of DEOMI's mission lies in conducting research and providing training on the growing religious diversity within DoD ranks and how accommodation of this diversity affects issues of recruitment, retention, and readiness.

In addition, increased awareness of the importance of religion (and other cultural factors) within those populations with whom DoD personnel interact finds DEOMI ideally situated to provide military and government leaders with research possessing both scholarly depth and military awareness. DEOMI personnel provide expert training in these areas to military and civilian employees of DoD at DEOMI, located on Patrick Air Force Base, FL, and in military units around the country, placing continual emphasis on how religion can and does play a vital role in the military mission.