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Home : News : News
NEWS | July 8, 2022

Team investigating racial disparity in military justice embarks on installation visits

By C. Todd Lopez DOD News

In May, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks directed the creation of an internal review team to look into the root causes of racial disparities in the military's investigative and justice systems.

Now, members of that team have embarked on conducting a series of listening sessions and visits to military installations to undertake the work that will help them deliver a final report to the deputy secretary. 

An aerial view of the Pentagon.
Pentagon Point
An aerial view of the Pentagon, May 11, 2021.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase, DOD
VIRIN: 210512-D-BM568-1203

"Racial disparities in the investigative and military justice systems have been a problem for far too long, and it is incumbent on the Department to take immediate action to correct these issues wherever they exist," Hicks wrote in a memorandum delivered May 3 to Pentagon leadership, commanders of combatant commands and others. "Our people deserve nothing less." 

In the memorandum, the internal review team was given three months to look into the root causes of racial disparities in the investigative and military justice systems. 

A judge’s gavel.
Gavel Rests
A gavel rests on the judge’s bench in the courtroom of the 39th Air Base Wing legal office at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Nov. 14, 2019.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Joseph Magbanua
VIRIN: 191114-F-ZF730-0006M

"The review will provide actionable recommendations that the Department can implement to improve policies, programs, processes and resources to address these disparities," Hicks said of the team's work. "It will incorporate ongoing work within the military departments and complement independent external reviews of this issue." 

The team began work June 1 and will deliver the findings to Hicks by Aug. 24.