Selecting the right EOR can impact unit readiness
By Maj. William Gillespie Appointment by MOS is a time worn procedure that may cause
DEOMI Marine Corps Liaison troops to question the value, intent of the commander’s EO program.
Commanding officers are administration officer or non- creative problem solver. And Ma’am,” regardless of their
expected to successfully lead commissioned officer-in-charge although the EOR should not be situation.
organizations in a world of (S-1). viewed as a “victim’s The EOR billet is a time
unprecedented scrutiny, And although the principle of advocate,” the EOR should be consuming collateral duty. The
complexity and ambiguity. selecting Marines to fill most able to empathize with the interaction between the EOR
Marines participating in sexual collateral duties is a successful alleged victim. and the troops must be more
harassment, hazing, gangs, and time-validated process, the than a cursory “hello, good-
extremist groups have caused essence of selecting an EOR Competency bye” association. Their
commanders to reduce their must not be lost in a rote, Publishing a letter declaring relationship must be built on
focus on warfighting and have checklist-minded procedure: an officer or senior NCO as the mutual trust and confidence and
also tarnished the public image particularly since an effective battalion’s EOR does not make nurtured over time.
of our proud Corps. EOR requires abilities, the person competent to An EOR with a myriad of
Individual Marines rely on attributes and competencies not perform the job. Training is an other collateral duties may not
our Core Values of honor, necessarily associated with a integral part of the competency. be able to take the time to
courage and commitment to particular military occupational Although Marine Corps establish rapport with the troops
help us navigate ill-defined skill. orders do not identify specific or simply blend in the motor
landscapes. Marine Corps In fact, the essence of tasks required of EORs, most pool, maintenance bay or
Commandant Gen. Charles C. selecting an EOR should be local equal opportunity advisors barracks.
Krulak stated in his based on three major factors: develop and administer training The Informal Resolution
“Commandant’s Planning perceived fairness, competency, for EORs to address their System and the chain of
Guidance” that, “I do not intend and availability to fellow cognizant commanding general command are the preferred
for honor, courage, and Marines and Sailors. or commanding officer’s equal methods of addressing EO
commitment to be just words; I opportunity policy. At a complaints. However, a savvy
expect them to frame the way minimum, an EOR should be EOR may be an effective
we live and act as Marines.” Fairness alternate method of addressing
Marines and Sailors who are trained to process complaints,
Commanding generals and conduct EO training, assist the complaints just in case the
commanding officers of major reluctant to report their problem lies within the chain of
problems or perceptions to the EOA in measuring the
active commands have equal command’s equal opportunity command or the Marine is
opportunity advisors to assist, chain of command or the EOR
are often compelled to remain (core values) climate, advise the afraid to use the preferred
advise and measure the commander on EO issues and method.
application of our Core Values silent. Silence will not resolve Commanders may increase
the problem; the problem is assist the commander in
to all Marines and Sailors. In managing his or her EO their organization’s readiness
addition to sergeants major, likely to fester and manifest by assigning EORs that are fair,
itself as low morale, program.
chaplains and subordinate competent and available to their
commanders, commanding unauthorized absences, Marines and Sailors.
officers at the organizational congressional inquiries or local Availability
level, have equal opportunity and national media interest. Junior Marines and Sailors,
representatives to check the Therefore, a commander the people who are most likely
azimuth of the command’s should seek an EOR who is to be harassed, are often
route toward Core Values for generally perceived to be fair, reluctant and uncomfortable
everyone. impartial, and honest by junior with expressing complaints to a
And, whereas sergeants Marines and Sailors in the commissioned officer in the
major, chaplains and command. Although all good “distant command post”
subordinate commanders are Marine officers and staff because there are formal and
assigned to their positions by noncommissioned officers informal communication
virtue of experience, training should possess the barriers that hinder the candid
and education, what attributes aforementioned attributes, not subordinate to senior dialogue.
qualify a Marine to be a all are viewed that way by the For example, although I
successful EOR? troops. believe intuitively, that when a
Information I have gathered For example, since the S-1 commander asks, “How are you
from various commands officer is frequently assigned doing Marine?” the commander
indicate that the normal strategy the collateral duty of legal expects an honest answer.
for assigning the collateral duty officer, young Marines and However, I have observed that
of the EOR is based on the Sailors might perceive the S-1 the Marine will typically give a
individual’s primary duty as the as a “punisher” instead of as a preconditioned, “Fine Sir/Fine