In addition to breaking the law, familial status discrimination violates Executive Orders and DoD Directives.  The issue also reveals Service regulations that claim to prohibit “unlawful discrimination”, yet fail to protect members without dependents from discrimination based on familial status.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS

Executive Order 13583, Government-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan (23-Aug-11)

  • Directs executive departments and agencies to develop and implement a more comprehensive, integrated, and strategic focus on diversity and inclusion as a key component of their human resources strategies. This approach should include a continuing effort to identify and adopt best practices to promote diversity and inclusion and to identify and remove any barriers to equal employment opportunity, consistent with merit system principles and applicable law(Executive departments have failed to identify and remove barriers to equal opportunity with regard to familial status.)

  • Defines diversity broadly, including, but not limited to, the legally protected categories(According to the Fair Housing Act, familial status is a legally-protected category.)

  • Defines workforce diversity as a collection of individual attributes that together help agencies pursue organizational objectives efficiently and effectively. These include, but are not limited to, characteristics such as national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, and family structures(According to the Fair Housing Act, “family” includes a single individual.  Therefore, a single individual is a type of family structure.)

  • Establishes a priority to “Fully and timely comply with all Federal laws, regulations, Executive orders, management directives, and policies related to promoting diversity and inclusion in the Federal workforce.”  (The Fair Housing Act was amended in 1988.  Housing discrimination based on familial status has continued unabated for 30 years.  Clearly, the executive departments have failed to “fully and timely comply with all Federal laws”.)

DOD LEVEL GUIDANCE

DoDD 1020.02E, Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity in the DoD (08-Jun-15, IC-2 01-Jun-18)

  • Establishes policy and assigns responsibilities to provide an overarching framework for addressing unlawful discrimination and promoting equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion.

  • (Glossary, Part II)  The term "unlawful discrimination" is defined as "disparate treatment or harassment of an individual or group based on a prohibited factor contrary to federal law or regulation".  (Note that this definition does include the Fair Housing Act prohibition against discrimination based on familial status.  Keep that in mind when you get to Enclosure 2, Paragraph 2.b.(1) below.)

  • (Enclosure 2, Paragraph 1.c)  The DoD Diversity and Inclusion Management Program implements diversity and inclusion focused programs and practices to foster an inclusive environment encompassing all the different characteristics and attributes of the total force.  (All characteristics, such as… the various family structures found throughout the total force.  As previously mentioned, the Fair Housing Act makes it clear that the term "family" includes a single individual.  So the intent of the DoD Diversity and Inclusion Management Program is to foster an inclusive environment encompassing all the characteristics of the total force, but it fails to do so with regard to members without dependents.)

  • (Enclosure 2, Paragraph 1.d)  The DoD Diversity and Inclusion Management Program establishes:

  1. An accountability framework, based on federal laws, regulations, and other applicable guidance that evaluate DoD Components efforts to identify and eliminate barriers and gaps that inhibit progress of the implementation of diversity and inclusion efforts(Accountability?  What accountability?  The DoD has been violating the Fair Housing Act for 30 years, with no effort or intent to identify and eliminate income gaps and barriers to fair housing faced by members without dependents.  Where is this “accountability” you speak of?)

  2. Mechanisms to integrate the progress of diversity and inclusion into lifecycle and talent management to attract, recruit, access, develop, promote, and retain diverse talent based on merit across the DoD.  (Our housing and entitlement policies do not aim to retain talent based on “merit”, they aim to retain members who made the “right” lifestyle choices about getting married and/or having kids.)

  • (Enclosure 2, Paragraph 2.a)  The DoD MEO Program promotes equal opportunity as being critical to mission accomplishment, unit cohesiveness, and military readiness.  It evaluates Service members only on individual merit, fitness, capability, and performance(If the MEO Program “promotes equal opportunity as critical to the mission”, then why has it done nothing in 30 years to address unlawful housing discrimination?  Service members may be “evaluated” on merit, but their income is largely based on personal choices, not duty performance.)

  • (Enclosure 2, Paragraph 2.b)  The DoD MEO Program ensures that:

  1. All Service members are afforded equal opportunity in an environment free from harassment, including sexual harassment, and unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity), or sexual orientation(Notice how this differs from the definition of unlawful discrimination in the glossary.  The glossary simply defines “unlawful discrimination” as any “disparate treatment contrary to federal law”.  But in this paragraph, the DoD starts to muddy the waters.  This is where we first see the phrase “on the basis of…”  In this paragraph, it’s explicitly clear that the DoD is going to address unlawful discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity), and sexual orientation.  But was is equally important is what it doesn’t say…  And what it doesn’t say is that we are NOT going to address other forms of unlawful discrimination.)

  2. The chain of command is used as the primary and preferred channel to:​

    1. Identify and correct unlawful discriminatory practices.  (I wish that were true!  The reality is that the chain of command is exactly who has repeatedly refused to allow this issue to see the light of day.)

    2. Process and resolve complaints of unlawful discrimination or harassment, to include sexual.

    3. Ensure that MEO matters are taken seriously and acted on as necessary.  (The only action the chain of command has taken on this MEO matter is to suppress the topic.)

  • (Enclosure 3, Paragraph 1.a)  The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness represents and advises the Secretary of Defense on all matters related to the DoD MEO Program, DoD Civilian EEO Program, DoD Diversity and Inclusion Management Program, and DoD Civil Rights Program.  (It is not possible for the Under Secretary to advise the SECDEF on the topic of familial status discrimination.  That’s because Equal Opportunity offices refuse to take reports on the topic, the chain of command refuses to acknowledge the issue, and unit climate assessments do not ask about this form of unlawful discrimination.  Since no data is collected on familial status discrimination, it is impossible to reveal that the trend even exists.)

  • (Enclosure 3, Paragraph 4.b)  The Office of the Secretary of Defense and DoD Component heads develop, implement, and maintain policies, programs, and procedures to prevent unlawful discrimination and harassment based on any prohibited factor(“Any prohibited factor” includes the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on familial status.  The OSD and DoD Component heads do NOT develop policies to prevent this type of unlawful discrimination.  Therefore, Enclosure 3, Paragraph 4.b is a lie, which means Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work made a false official statement by approving DoDD 1020.02E.)

DoDD 1350.2, Department of Defense Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) Program (18-Aug-95, IC-2 08-Jun-15)

  • Establishes Department-wide standards for discrimination complaint processing and resolution.

  • (Paragraph 4.1)  It is DoD policy to support the MEO program as a military and economic necessity, as stated by the Secretary of Defense, and enforce the provisions of this Directive in developing operating EO policies and programs at all levels of activity. Toward that end, Component heads are charged with promoting EO and affirmative actions, and for eliminating unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment within the Department(Component heads have failed to do so with regard to discrimination based on familial status.)

  • (Paragraph 4.2)  It is DoD policy to promote an environment free from personal, social, or institutional barriers that prevent Service members from rising to the highest level of responsibility possible. Service members shall be evaluated only on individual merit, fitness, and capability. Unlawful discrimination against persons or groups based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is contrary to good order and discipline and is counterproductive to combat readiness and mission accomplishment. Unlawful discrimination shall not be condoned(Like DoDD 1020.02E, DoDD 1350.2 makes it clear which forms of unlawful discrimination will be addressed, and silently excludes all other forms of unlawful discrimination.  [As a side note, 1350.2 excludes two categories that were listed in 1020.02E: “gender identity” and “sexual orientation”.]  As for that last bit about “unlawful discrimination shall not be condoned”…  Given that unlawful discrimination based on familial status is codified in our housing regulations, I think it’s safe to say we do condone it.)

  • (Paragraph 4.3)  It is DoD policy to use the chain of command to promote, support, and enforce the MEO program. The chain of command is the primary and preferred channel for identifying and correcting discriminatory practices. This includes the processing and resolving of complaints of unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment, and for ensuring that human relations and EO matters are taken seriously and acted upon as necessary. The chain of command is responsible for creating and maintaining a MEO environment that incorporates the policies set out in this Directive.  (With regard to discrimination based on familial status, the chain of command has completely and deliberately failed to meet this requirement.)

  • (Paragraph 4.4)  It is DoD policy to ensure that the Military Services establish MEO and affirmative action programs that identify and resolve EO problems through formulating, maintaining, and reviewing affirmative action plans (AAPs) with established objectives and milestones, including accountability in personnel management, consistent with DoD Instruction 1350.3.  (Not only have the Military Services not resolved discrimination based on familial status, they refuse to allow the issue to be identified.  The chain of command refuses to acknowledge the issue, EO offices refuse to take reports on the topic, and unit climate assessments do not ask about this form of unlawful discrimination.)

  • (Paragraph 4.6)  It is DoD policy to provide for an environment that is free from unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment.  (This is not true with regard to discrimination based on familial status, which means Deputy Secretary of Defense John P. White made a false official statement by approving DoDD 1350.2.)

  • (Paragraph 6.1.1)  The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness shall develop overall MEO policy.  (To the Honorable Matthew Donovan:  I realize you did not create this problem.  Nonetheless, it is your duty to fix it.  To that end, please refer to the section titled Solutions.)

  • (Paragraph 6.2.4)  The Secretaries of the Military Departments are responsible for EO and for ensuring compliance with this Directive within their respective Services and shall develop policies to prevent unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment, and require that commanders prominently post and enforce them. Personnel should be made aware of the policies and procedures for filing a complaint of reprisal under DoD Directive 7050.6. Violations of the policies set forth in this Directive may constitute violations of specific articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  (The Service Secretaries have failed to develop policies to prevent unlawful discrimination with regard to familial status.)

  • (Paragraph E2.1.16)  Unlawful Discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of color, national origin, race, religion, or sex that is not otherwise authorized by law or regulation.  (By this definition, the DoD can create regulations to exempt itself from the law and self-authorize any form of discrimination, rendering laws passed by Congress meaningless.)

AIR FORCE LEVEL GUIDANCE

The guidance below makes several references to climate surveys.  These surveys ask about other forms of unlawful discrimination (race, color, religion, etc), but they do not ask about familial status, even though it is protected by the same law.  Furthermore, assessments are focused on discrimination occurring within the unit.  They are not designed to identify discrimination in outside agencies (such as the Housing office) and/or systemic across the DoD.  In other words, the assessments are based on the false assumption that the DoD is already compliant with the law.

AFPD 36-27, Equal Opportunity (EO) (18-Mar-19)

  • Implements Air force Equal Opportunity policies in accordance with Department of Defense Directives, including DoDD 1350.2, Department of Defense Military Equal Opportunity (MEO).  Curiously, DoDD 1020.02E, Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity in the DoD is not listed.  (Note:  Because it implements DoDD 1350.2, AFPD 36-27 is also limited in scope to discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.  This is reaffirmed in paragraph 1.1, seen below.)

  • (Paragraph 1.1)  Unlawful discrimination against military members is any unlawful action that denies equal opportunity to persons or groups based on their race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, religion, or sexual orientation.  (AFPD 36-27 repeats the contradiction in DoDD 1020.02E and DoDD 1350.2.  Race, color, religion, sex, and national origin are the only forms of unlawful discrimination the military will concern itself with.  So Congress, feel free to pass whatever “equal opportunity” laws you want, because if it doesn’t fall within these categories, we’re just going to ignore you.)

  • (Paragraph 1.3)  The Air Force is committed to ensuring all Airmen are provided equal employment opportunity in an environment free of unlawful discrimination.  (True with the exception of housing discrimination on the basis of familial status.)

  • (Paragraph 1.4)  The Air Force will not tolerate unlawful discrimination.  (The Air Force doesn't just tolerate unlawful discrimination; it codifies and enforces unlawful discrimination.  Secretary of the Air Force, Heather A. Wilson, made a false official statement by approving AFPD 36-27.)

  • (Paragraph 3.1)  Unlawful harassment, in any context, is a violation of Air Force policy. It is the duty of each commander, manager, and supervisor to maintain a workplace free of unlawful discrimination and unlawful harassment.  They shall ensure Airmen under their supervision are aware of this policy, and shall ensure Airmen can report violations without fear of reprisal or retaliation.  Commanders, managers, and supervisors shall promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigate complaints, and take appropriate corrective action when a violation is found, including disciplinary action, if warranted.  (Every commander has failed to meet this requirement with regard to familial status.)

  • (Paragraph 3.2.1)  Unlawful harassment includes creating an intimidating, hostile working environment for another person on the basis of one of the characteristics set out in paragraph 1.1 above.  (Under this guidance, it is unlawful to use racist, sexist, or religious slurs, but supervisors, First Sergeants, and Commanders can routinely refer to Airmen without dependents as "dorm rats".)

  • (Paragraph 4.1)  It is extremely important that unlawful discrimination or unlawful harassment be reported immediately. Failure to report, or any undue delay in reporting, may hinder the Air Force’s ability to prevent and/or correct unlawful behavior.  (I couldn't agree more!  So then why are we only allowed to report "certain kinds" of unlawful discrimination?  )

AFI 36-2710, Equal Opportunity Program (18-Jun-20, AFGM 2020-01 09-Sep-20)

  • Implements Air Force Policy Directive (AFPD) 36-27, Equal Opportunity (EO). It provides directive guidance on he Air Force (AF) Equal Opportunity program and prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, and reprisal.  (Note:  Because it implements AFPD 36-27, AFI 36-2710 is also limited in scope and excludes familial status.)

  • (Paragraph 1.1.1)  The purpose of the Air Force Equal Opportunity Program is to prohibit and eradicate all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment, and reprisal, and to foster a positive human relations climate, which promotes the full realization of equality of opportunity to all.  (All forms?  Or just race, color, religion, national origin, and sex?  Again, contradictory guidance.)

  • (Paragraph 1.2.3)  The Air Force will continuously conduct programs to eradicate every form of unlawful discrimination and harassment.  (I know I sound like a broken record, but that's because the guidance keeps repeating the same lie.)

  • (Paragraph 1.2.7)  The Air Force will require commanders to develop and implement a program of positive action in all administrative and management matters, including recruitment, employment, and promotion designed to promote equal opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies.  (Commanders are required to develop a program that eliminates discriminatory practices and policies.  Not one Commander has done this with regard to familial status.)

  • (Paragraph 1.3.1)  Air Force Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (SAF/MR) is designated by the Secretary of the Air Force as the Air Force Equal Opportunity Director, as defined by 29 CFR § 1614.102(b)(4). SAF/MR is responsible for Air Force equal opportunity policy, accountable for Air Force compliance with this policy, and is otherwise authorized to act for the Secretary of the Air Force in all equal opportunity policy and compliance matters.  (SAF/MR…  Just one of many layers in the rotten onion known as Military Equal Opportunity.)

  • (Paragraph 1.3.2)  Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower, Personnel, and Services (AF/A1) provides adequate resources, including training, to execute the Air Force Equal Opportunity Program at all levels of the Air Force in accordance with federal laws, regulations, executive orders, Department of Defense (DoD) directives, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations, and Air Force policy. AF/A1 has overall responsibility to implement this instruction as it applies to employment and nondiscrimination in Air Force programs and activities conducted or assisted by the Air Force, to include schools operated by the Air Force in the United States.  (The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination and preference based on familial status.  Executive Order 13583 requires executive departments to "fully and timely comply with all federal laws".  AF/A1 has failed to execute the Equal Opportunity Program in accordance with federal laws and executive orders.)

  • (Paragraph 1.3.3.3)  Director, Air Force Equal Opportunity (AF/A1Q) ensures... military equal employment complaint data is complete, accurate, and up-to-date to support Air Force reporting requirements.  (AF/A1Q has failed to ensure the data is complete with regard to unlawful discrimination based on familial status.  The data can't be complete, because the is not collected.)

  • (Paragraph 1.3.4.1.5)  The Air Force Equal Opportunity Program Manager analyzes installation, MAJCOM, and Air Force level equal opportunity trend data and organizational climate assessment reports to identify problem areas, and advises Installation Equal Opportunity Offices via AFPC/EO Operations and MAJCOM Equal Opportunity Functional Managers on corrective and preventative actions for equal opportunity matters.  (The Program Manager can't analyze trend data regarding familial status because the data is not collected.)

  • (Paragraph 1.3.11)  The Judge Advocate General provides legal advice and guidance on equal opportunity policies and procedures, laws, and instructions to the Secretary of the Air Force, Air Staff, and to Air Force Judge Advocates (JAs).  (JAG is failing to provide advice and guidance with regard to the Fair Housing Act's prohibition against housing discrimination and preference based on familial status.)

  • (Paragraph 1.3.18.13)  Air Force Personnel Center Equal Opportunity (AFPC/EO) Operations develops, coordinates, reviews, and updates the Professional Development Study Guide as it pertains to equal opportunity and Human Relations Education objectives under the guidance of the Equal Opportunity Career Field Manager. Coordinates and reviews all changes to the Professional Military Education course curricula, objectives, materials, and programs as they pertain to equal opportunity and Human Relations Education objectives.  (The Airman Handbook <formerly known as the Professional Development Guide> and Professional Military Education courses make no mention of discrimination based on familial status.)

  • (Paragraph 2.1)  It is the policy of the United States Government, the Department of Defense, and the Air Force not to condone or tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind. This zero-tolerance policy ensures that once unlawful discrimination or harassment is alleged, immediate and appropriate action is taken to investigate and resolve the allegations, and that unlawful behavior is stopped. Any Airman, military or civilian, who engages in unlawful discriminatory practices or harassment of any kind may face disciplinary action. Air Force equal opportunity policy compliance is a function of leadership and command. Leaders and commanders will ensure all types of unlawful discrimination or harassment are stopped, and behavior corrected as soon as possible once they are made aware.  (Not only does the Air Force condone and tolerate unlawful discrimination, it codifies and enforces it.  The Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, John A Fredrigo, made a false official statement by approving AFI 36-2710.)

  • (Paragraph 2.2)  Unlawful discrimination against military members is any unlawful action that denies equal opportunity to persons or groups based on their race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, religion, or sexual orientation. These bases are collectively referred to as a “protected class.”  (And here we see it again.  This is exactly why the Equal Opportunity offices refuse to take reports on unlawful discrimination based on familial status.  Even though federal law establishes familial status as a legally-protected category, there is no publication that implements that aspect of the law.  <--  This is the root cause of the problem.  It starts in DoD publications and trickles down through the hierarchy of regulations.)

  • (Paragraph 4.1.1)  The military equal opportunity informal and formal complaint processes address allegations of unlawful discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, sexual harassment, and religion.  (And again.)

  • (Paragraph 4.7)  When a military member visits the Installation Equal Opportunity Office with an allegation of unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, or non-discriminatory harassment against an Air Force or subordinate command-level policy or directive; it is considered Institutional Discrimination. The Equal Opportunity Practitioner will document allegations on an AF Form 1587 and refer the case immediately to AFPC/EO Operations.  (I contacted the Equal Opportunity Offices on three different installations.  None of them documented anything.  In fact, one of the EO Offices scribbled over my name on the sign-in sheet.  None of the other names on the sheet had been lined out, much less obliterated to the point they could not be read.)

  • (Paragraph 4.15.1)  Equal Opportunity Practitioners will process complaints through the formal complaint process.  Under no circumstances will an Equal Opportunity Practitioner attempt to dissuade a person from filing a complaint...  (I attempted to submit complaints at three installations.  The Equal Opportunity offices at Yokota Air Base, Japan and Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas flat-out refused to take reports.  They claimed it was "legal discrimination" and said there was nothing they could do about it.  The Equal Opportunity office at Travis Air Force Base took a copy of my report, but - to the best of my knowledge - did not act on it.)

  • (Paragraph 4.28)  The Air Force Unlawful Discrimination Harassment, and Sexual Harassment Hotline (888-231-4058) is operated by AFPC/EO Operations.

  • (Paragraph 5.1)  An Equal Opportunity Treatment Incident is an overt, damaging act which (a) occurs on or off installation (b) is directed toward an individual, group, or institution (c) is motivated or is perceived to be motivated based on protected class status (d) has the potential to have a negative impact on the installation Human Relations Climate...  Incidents may include, but are not limited to, the use of slurs, vandalism, and hate group activity, posting of discriminatory epithets, signs, or symbols.  (Familial status is a protected class.  The use of the slur "dorm rat" is commonplace, even among supervisors, First Sergeants, Senior Enlisted Managers, and Commanders.)

  • (Paragraph 6.4.1)  The Installation Equal Opportunity Assessment Summary... will consist of an analysis of Defense Equal Opportunity Climate Survey data.  (Conveniently, the DEOCS does not ask any questions about discrimination based on familial status, even though it is a legally-protected category.  Furthermore, the assessments are focused on discrimination occurring within the unit.  They are not designed to identify discrimination in outside agencies - such as the Housing office - or systemic across the DoD.  In other words, the survey questions are based on the false assumption that the DoD is compliant with all equal opportunity laws.)

  • (Paragraph 7.4)  Organizational climate assessments are conducted as prescribed in this chapter and using only the Air Force approved Defense Equal Opportunity Climate SurveyNo other survey instrument is authorized.  (We certainly don't want some rogue Commander to develop a survey that would actually reveal systemic discrimination.)

  • (Paragraph 8.1)  AFPC/EO Operations coordinates and reviews all changes to professional military education courses, objectives, materials, and programs as they pertain to equal opportunity and Human Relations Education objectives.  (Discrimination based on familial status has been illegal since 1988.  AFPC/EO still has not updated PME course curriculum.)

  • (Paragraph 8.8)  Human Relations Education is mandatory for pre- commissioning programs, initial entry training, and all levels of Professional Military Education, General Officers, and Senior Executive Service personnel. Training programs will include comprehensive material on the following: leadership roles and responsibilities for the Air Force Equal Opportunity Program, unlawful discrimination and harassment, military and civilian complaint processing, legal issues, reprisal/retaliation prevention and detection, climate assessment methodologies, and equal employment opportunity systems.  (So human relations training is required to include comprehensive material on unlawful discrimination, and it is mandatory for everyone entering the military and all levels of PME.  Hmmm…  How many military personnel have received training about unlawful housing discrimination based on familial status?  Exactly ZERO.)

AFH 1, The Airman Handbook (01-Oct-17)

  • (Paragraph 16.25.1)  Unlawful discrimination against military members includes any unlawful action that denies Equal Opportunity to persons or groups based on their race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. This type of discrimination can occur in a variety of forms to include: in writing, verbal, or in a combination. Unlawful discrimination can occur on or off base.  (As with other guidance, The Airman Handbook excludes familial status from its list of protected categories.)

BASE LEVEL EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OFFICES

At Yokota Air Base, and again at Little Rock Air Force Base, I tried to file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity office.  On both occasions, they stated “it is legal discrimination, and there is nothing we can do about it.”  The consistency of their replies suggests two things:  First, military Equal Opportunity has received so many complaints on this topic that it has developed a scripted response.  And second, the entire Equal Opportunity enterprise is either ignorant to the fact that familial status is a legally-protected category, or it is deliberately ignoring the law.  In addition, their refusal to take a report highlights a disturbing truth:  Equal Opportunity will only collect data on forms of discrimination which have already been acknowledged at the highest levels.  And without data, there can be no trend analysis to identify other forms of discrimination.  In other words, if the military simply chooses to ignore a form of discrimination, then it never has to do anything about it.

UNIT LEVEL EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY LETTERS

A typical Commander's policy letter on Equal Opportunity states there is “zero tolerance” for unlawful discrimination.  In the last 30 years, there has not been one commanding officer in the entire military who has upheld that standard.  (Does that sound like “Integrity” to you?  Does that sound like “Excellence In All We Do”?)  Likewise, the Service Secretaries, the Secretary of Defense, and the Commander in Chief are complicit in the systemic violation of legally-protected rights of service members without dependents.

SUMMARY

The examples above demonstrate that both Equal Opportunity and the chain of command intentionally prevent this issue from coming to light, and indeed refuse to acknowledge that discrimination based on familial status is already illegal (or that it even exists).  The entities that should be advocating a resolution to this injustice are the very ones who are suppressing the topic.  For this reason, it is imperative for Congress to take an active role in righting this wrong.  Just like the effort to end racial discrimination; just like the effort to end gender discrimination; just like the effort to actually do something about the rape epidemic; just like the effort to end discrimination based on sexual orientation; so too shall this effort require Congressional intervention.  The military has already violated a law established by Congress for 30 years.  There is no evidence to suggest the DoD will take corrective measures on its own initiative.