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Apr 25 -- The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD(P&R)), Department of Defense (DoD), invites comment to OMB by May 27, 2022 regarding the proposed Enlisted Retention and Promotion Barrier Analysis.

The Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (Section 551) requires DoD to conduct a barrier analysis to review demographic diversity patterns across the military life cycle, starting with enlistment or accession into the Armed Forces in order to: (i) Identify barriers to increasing diversity; (ii) develop and implement plans and processes to resolve or eliminate any barriers to diversity; and (iii) review the progress of the Armed Forces in implementing previous plans and processes to resolve or eliminate barriers to diversity. DoD's Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) will carry out the NDAA requirement by completing the information collection (i.e., Enlisted Retention and Promotion Barrier Analysis Study). Additionally, the DoD Board on Diversity and Inclusion, in its December 2020 report, recommended DoD address barriers confronted by minority members in the workplace.
 
ODEI will conduct in-depth interviews with active component Enlisted, Noncommissioned officers (E-5 to E-9) and focus groups with active component junior Enlisted members (E-1 to E-4) to examine the beliefs and attitudes toward diversity and inclusion, retention and promotion, and specifically any perceived differences of retention and promotion related to race, ethnicity, and gender. As noted above, ODEI will conduct this information collection to continue to fulfill the FY 2021 NDAA requirement to conduct a barrier analysis across the Military life cycle.   

The study will occur in two phases. In Phase I, ODEI researchers will obtain the attitudes and beliefs of active component Enlisted, Noncommissioned officers via virtual in-depth interviews. Interview topics will include recruiting and accessions, training, leadership, workplace climate and culture, career progression and mentorship, and work-life balance. In Phase II, ODEI researchers will obtain the attitudes and beliefs of active component junior Enlisted members via virtual focus groups. Focus group topics will include recruiting and accessions, training, leadership, workplace climate and culture, career progression and mentorship, and work-life balance.  

Prior to beginning Phase I, ODEI will request the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force representative to the DoD Diversity and Inclusion Working Group designate a Service point of contact (POC) who will assist ODEI in recruiting active component noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted volunteers for virtual focus groups. ODEI will schedule and hold information sessions with the POCs to explain the study, their role, and associated responsibilities. During the information sessions, ODEI will also provide an information sheet/handout and draft communications the POCs may use (and tailor as desired/needed) when recruiting volunteers.   

During Phase I (in-depth interviews) and Phase II (focus groups), respondents will receive communications (e.g., recruiting email, calendar invitation) from a Service POC. No respondent will individually complete a collection instrument. Respondents will answer questions voluntarily during interviews or focus groups and ODEI researchers will analyze responses to questions posed by a moderator from the moderator guide. By completing the information collection, ODEI will identify potential and existing factors that serve as barriers that may affect perceived differences of retention and promotion related to race, ethnicity, and gender.  
 
Submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202201-0704-006  Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-08759

For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, the AEA Committee on Economic Statistics offers "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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