Army officers told promotion will depend on ‘inclusiveness’

Army officers could be passed over for promotion if they have not done enough to improve “inclusiveness and diversity” in their units.

It comes as new TV recruitment adverts promote the Army as an inclusive workplace with the strapline “Find where you belong.”

A newly-uncovered addition to internal Forces documents shows personnel are now judged on their efforts to make the unit a comfortable work environment regardless of recruits’ background, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

An MOD spokesman said the requirement is “an intrinsic part of the behaviour we expect from everyone across Defence.”

Serving soldiers, sailors and airmen and women receive an annual appraisal carried out by their reporting officer – usually their immediate superior.

The reporting officers use checklists of around ten measures to judge performance and progression. For infantry these would include for instance completing all mandatory training exercises. The appraisals are used in determining suitability for promotion.

In November of 2016 a new objective was added to the checklist under the authority of then Chief of Defence People, General Richard Nugee.

Under the heading “Diversity and Inclusion” it says officers, warrant officers and NCOs should: “Promote an inclusive culture within area of responsibility, working to increase understanding and engagement through education and initiative.”

An MOD spokesman told The Daily Telegraph said: “One of the worst possible situations you can be in, is where you’re part of a military team where you don’t feel included.

“We want people to be part of a team and we want to be able to identify if there’s a problem.

“One incident is too many so at some point the defence board must have decided to have an objective where people can be actively held to account against diversity and inclusion objectives.

“This is 2018, and we need to be up on this stuff.

“This objective is not at the expense of everything else, this is an intrinsic part of the behaviour we expect from everyone across defence.”

New animated Army recruitment adverts which launched earlier this year open with the question: “Will I be listened to in the army?”

A female voiceover describes being talked-over in civilian jobs before saying that upon joining the army: “It was totally different.

“All that mattered was that you’re good at your job. It feels good to finally have my voice heard.”

Source: The Telegraph