President Harry S. Truman's Executive Order 9981

On July 26, 1948, Truman signed Executive Order 9981, declaring that the policy “shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.”

EXECUTIVE ORDER

ESTABLISHING THE COMIVHTTEE ON
EQUALITY OF TREATMENT AND OPPORTUNITY IN
THE ARMED SERVICES

WHEREAS it is essential that there be maintained in the
armed services of the United States the highest standards of
democracy, with equality of treatment and Opportunity for all
those who serve in our country?s defense:

NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in
me as President of the United States, by the Constitution and the .
statutes of the United States, and as Commander in Chief of the
armed services, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President
that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all
persons in the armed services without regard to race, color,
religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect
as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required
to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency
or morale.

2. There shall be created in the National Military Estab-
lishment an advisory committee to be known as the President's
Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed
Services, which shall be composed of seven members to be desig-
nated by the President.

3. The Committee is authorized on behalf of the President
to examine into the rules, procedures and practices of the armed
services in order to determine in what respect such rules, pro-
cedures and practices may be altered or improved with a View
to carrying out the policy of this order. The Committee shall

confer and advise with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary

oi the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary
of the Air Force, and shall nuke such recommendatiOns to
the President And to said Secretaries as in the judgment of
the Committee will elfectuate the policy hereof.

4. All executive departroents and agencies of the
Federal Goverrmqent are authorized and directed to cooper-
ate with the Committee in its work. and to furnish the Com-
mittcc such inIOrmation or the services of such persons as
the Committee may require in the performance of its duties.

5. When requested by the Committee to do 30, persons
in the armed services 01' in any OI the executive departments
and agencies of the Federal Government shell testify before
the Committee and shall make available for the use of the
Conm?ttee such docmnents and other information as the Com-
mittee may require.

6. The Committee shall continue to exist until such

time as the President shall terminate its existence by

tive or der .

THE warm House,

july 74. I943.