Photos of Marines will no longer be sent to promotion boards or with packages sent for consideration of assignments, training, education or command, according to a new administrative message released by the Corps.
The new policy will take effect Sept. 1, and includes official photographs from a Marine’s personnel files along with any photographs sent “in correspondence by individual Marines,” a Wednesday MARADMIN said.
The change follows a directive from Defense Secretary Mark Esper to remove the photos from official paperwork in the hopes of eliminating any “unconscious bias.”
In addition to removing the photos from official packages, the Marine Corps, along with the rest of the Department of Defense, was ordered to review its diversity and inclusion policies and seek to root out bias.
The Army stopped including photos for officer selection boards in August following a 2018 study that showed boards ranked candidates with less variance when the photos were removed from the process, Army Times previously reported.
The Corps has taken steps to help root out racism, including becoming the first service to ban Confederate “paraphernalia” in early June.