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On December 7, 2021, the House of Representatives passed S. 1605, the bipartisan, bicameral text of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), by a vote of 363-70. Just this week, the Senate also passed the FY22 NDAA by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 88-11.
The FY22 NDAA invests in America's rich pool of diverse talent to meet our biggest national security challenges. This bill includes reforms that will prioritize diversity and inclusion initiatives across the U.S. military, deliver real solutions to address the military's sexual assault crisis, and promote equity and fairness across America's research and development landscape.
Continue reading this edition of The Facts from the Democratic majority on the House Armed Services Committee to learn more.
This year's NDAA prioritizes initiatives to strengthen diversity and inclusion across the U.S. military.
- The FY22 NDAA will update outdated diversity training requirements. The bill also requires each Service Secretary to conduct ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training programs, including training on racism, discrimination, harassment, reprisal, and more.
- To address the challenges of racial and ethnic inequity in the military justice system, especially when it comes to prosecuting sexual assault cases, the FY22 NDAA requires the inclusion of race and ethnicity in annual reports on sexual assaults and reporting on racial and ethnic demographics in the military justice system.
- The bill also includes a critical provision requiring independent review from the services on the recruitment and retention of Hispanic service members.
The bill delivers real reforms to address the military's sexual assault crisis.
- The reforms in the FY22 NDAA — supported by a broad coalition of longstanding advocates for change — remove prosecutions of sexual assault and related crimes from the chain of command.
- The bill also preserves the independence of judges, juries, and proceedings in military sexual assault cases, while ensuring that prosecutors are trained, equipped, and qualified to handle sexual assault cases.
- The FY22 NDAA also includes solutions to tackle the military's sexual harassment crisis, making the military justice system the first and only jurisdiction in America where sexual harassment is a criminal offense.
Click here to learn more about how the FY22 NDAA will deliver accountability, independence, and results for survivors of sexual assault in the U.S. military.
This year's NDAA doubles down on diversity and inclusion across the research and development landscape.
- This bill makes significant new investments in academic partnerships, and it more than doubles the President's budget request for support for activities at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
- To support minority institutions' efforts to compete more effectively for federal research funding opportunities, the FY22 NDAA requires the Secretary of Defense to develop a plan to promote defense research at minority institutions. This bill also requires the Secretary to establish goals and incentives for certain research institutions to increase efforts to collaborate with minority institutions.
This bill invests in the heart and soul of our national security: service members and their families.
- Building on previous attempts to close the pay gap, the FY22 NDAA supports a well-deserved pay raise of nearly 3 percent for our men and women in uniform.
- The FY22 NDAA increases allowable parental leave for primary and secondary caregivers, including foster parents, and expands the in-home childcare pilot program providing financial assistance for in-home childcare.
- The bill also establishes a three-year pilot program to provide employment support to spouses of members of the U.S. military through a paid fellowship with employers across a variety of industries.