Canada’s Military to Become More Inclusive Because Population ‘Doesn’t Look Like All White Guys’

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By Lukas Mikelionis | 5:11 am, June 26, 2017

The Canadian military has announced plans to rebrand itself by recruiting more women and LGBT people in a bid to make it more inclusive and diverse, claiming “Our population doesn’t look like all white guys.”

The military’s push to recruit more women and LGBT people comes from a desire to connect with other parts of the population and appear welcoming to Canadians of all religions, sexual orientations and races, The Canadian Press reported.

The Canadian government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will be investing $62 billion in the military over the next 20 years, which includes hiring 5,000 additional military personnel.

Lt.-Gen. Charles Lamarre, the chief of military personnel, told the publication that the recruitment system needs an overhaul to make the military more diverse, inclusive and attractive to all Canadians.

“Our population doesn’t look like all white guys,” said Lamarre.

“If you want to get the very best people — the very smartest, most capable, most committed and most ingenious — then you need to look broadly and not exclude groups that would be very useful to you.”

A recently released diversity strategy by Gen. Jonathan Vance, Canada’s chief of the defence staff, also suggests that the military should rebrand itself as an inclusive and diverse space because Canada is becoming more diverse.

Vance claims the change is needed in order to recruit new people to ensure the military reflects the population and the forces are effective on missions abroad.

An expert on diversity in the military at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, Alan Okros, said the idea of adopting more diverse and inclusive mindset in the military is based on the belief that it will “make the military stronger”.

He added: “This isn’t a luxury, this isn’t social engineering, this isn’t political manoeuvring or political correctness. This is now an operational requirement.”

The military has ordered an increase in the percentage of women in the force from 15 percent to 25 percent in the next decade, launching targeted advertising campaigns at women who thought about joining the military but never did.

As part of the comprehensive effort to make the force more inclusive, senior military personnel are reviewing all aspects of the military, including uniforms, ceremonies, food, and religious accommodations to ensure standards of a more diverse military are met.

Other high-up military staff are also playing their part in making the force more inclusive. Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, the head of the Navy, issued a directive last week encouraging sailors to attend LGBTQ Pride parade in their uniforms.

Gen. Jonathan Vance is looking to issue a similar directive across all military in the next few days.