National Native American Heritage Month

Along with the rest of the DoD family, ODEI proudly celebrates, honors, and amplifies this month-long celebration of the Native American heritage. As we celebrate this rich heritage and indigenous culture, we hope you will carve out time to engage in discussions with your fellow service men and women, about the critical cultural importance of this month within our DoD community. Explore and enjoy featured stories via the link below and participate in the events the Department has featured for this sacred month!

Read more about NAIHM

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law by then-President George H.W. Bush in 1990, is the nation’s strongest measure protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities. It bars discrimination based on disability and guarantees equal access to public buildings and businesses, employment opportunities, transportation, telecommunications, commercial facilities, and state and local government services.

Read more about ADA

Anniversary of the Repeal Act of DADT

DOD is committed to increasing its efforts to reach LGBTQ+ veterans discharged under less than honorable conditions for homosexual conduct prior to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to ensure they are aware of the process to request a correction to their military record.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Resources

75th Anniversary of Desegregation of the Military and Federal Workforce

On July 26, 2023, the Department of Defense (DoD) commemorated the 75th Anniversary of Executive Orders 9980 and 9981 marking the desegregation of the Federal Workforce and Armed Forces in a ceremony at the Pentagon Center Courtyard. This commemoration recognized the historical significance of President Harry S. Truman’s July 26, 1948, decision to end discrimination in the Federal workplace and abolish segregation in the military.

75th Anniversary of Commemoration

Memorandum for Senior Pentagon Leadership, Defense Agency and DOD Field Activity Directors


Why Is It Important to Recognize Observances?

Special observances are conducted to recognize the continuous achievements of all Americans to American culture and to increase awareness, mutual respect, and understanding. They are designed to enhance cross-cultural and cross-gender awareness and promote harmony among all military members, their families, and the DoD civilian workforce.

Many concerns and issues begin with a basic misunderstanding between members when a member from one culture, group, or sex may act or behave differently than the expectations from those from another culture, group or sex.  Holding Observances allows members from different groups to learn about each other.  This allows for greater understanding and opens communication among different members.

For more information about how to conduct a special observance, please click on the link below:

Special Observances