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Special Emphasis Program (SEP)


The Department of Army requires establishing SEPs to ensure equal opportunity in hiring, training, advancement and treatment of women and minority employees. 

The SEPs were established to assist agencies in assuring that equal opportunity is present in all aspects of employment and that affirmative action addresses under-representation. The goals for the programs are to eliminate discriminatory practices, to ensure targeted groups are appropriately represented throughout the workforce, and to sponsor special activities designed to enhance diversity awareness.

The SEP managers implement Presidential Executive Orders and Federal personnel programs established by the Office of Personnel Management, work to eliminate demographic group imbalances in targeted occupations, and help achieve workforce diversity.


Asian American/Pacific American Employment Programs (AA/PA)

Department of Defense Directive 1440.1 authorizes the establishment of the A/PI Program as an integral part of the civilian equal employment opportunity program.

Executive Order (E.O.) 13216 amended E.O. 13125 to increase opportunity and improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AA/PI) through increased participation in Federal programs where they may be under served. The Executive Order establishes the President's Advisory Commission on AA/PIs, and a Federal Interagency Working Group on AA/PIs.

Black Employment Program (BEP)

This program was strengthened through Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government, which established the EEO Program. It is the policy of the Federal government to provide equal opportunity in employment to all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or age. The Black SEP was established to increase the representation of African Americans throughout the workforce.

Federal Women's Program (FWP)

In 1967, Executive Order 11375 added gender to the list of prohibited discrimination such as race, color, religion, and national origin. In response to this, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) established the Federal Women's Program (FWP). In 1969, Executive Order 11478 integrated the FWP into the EEO Program and placed it under the direction of EEO for each agency. OPM regulations require that Federal agencies designate a FWP manager to advise the EEO officer on matters affecting the employment and advancement of women. This law also requires that Federal agencies allocate sufficient resources for their Federal Women's Programs.

Hispanic Employment Program

The Hispanic Employment Program (HEP) is an integral part of the Federal government-wide Equal Employment Opportunity Program under the authority of Executive Order 13171, Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government of October 12, 2001. The goals of the HEP are to work toward enhancing employment opportunities for Hispanic employees and individuals seeking Federal employment and ensure Hispanic Americans are represented throughout the workforce at all grade levels and occupations.

Woman’s Equality Day

August 26th is the anniversary celebrating women gaining the right to vote.   

Native American/Alaskan Native (NA/AN)
  Employment Program

President George W. Bush reaffirmed the previous administration's Native American Program of Support for Tribal Colleges and Universities in Executive Order 13270. He reiterated the unique relationship between the United States and the Indian tribes and also acknowledged the special relationship between the United States and Alaskan Natives.  President Bush also declared this Nation's commitment to opportunity extends to  NA/ANs, and he expects this order will provide job training and other career-building programs for NA/ANs.

Program for Individuals with Disabilities

Executive Order 13078 established the National Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities to reduce employment barriers. Executive Order 13164  promotes a  Federal workplace that provides reasonable accommodation for employees and applicants with disabilities. Executive Order 13187 established the President's Disability Employment Partnership Board.

People with disabilities can be hired through the traditional competitive hiring process or, if they qualify, noncompetitively through the use of excepted service appointing authorities. Excepted service appointments for the disabled were developed to provide an opportunities for people with disabilities to circumvent the attitudinal barriers.  

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All SEP committees promote and support the SEP programs and address issues concerning each EEO protected group.



a. Assist in the implementation of Affirmative Employment Plans
   (AEP); support EEO program goals and objectives, and
   formulate strategies to eliminate employment barriers.
b. Sponsor and oversee ethnic observance program activities.
c. Serve as a working group in AEP program planning and development.


a. Each committee will be organized in accordance with applicable
    regulations and procedures.
b. Each committee is managed by an assigned program manager 
    (usually EEO staff) who serves as the subject matter expert.
Each committee will appoint executive officers in accordance with
    office SOP.
d. Each program committee meets monthly.
e. Each program committee is operated under the supervision of the
    EEO officer.


a. Includes military and civilian personnel.
b. The term is two years.
c. This is an official collateral duty.
d. Membership application must be submitted to the EEO Office for
e. Each committee should have representatives from different ethnic
    backgrounds.  (Example:  A white employee can serve on the Black
    Employment Program.)
f.  Supervisor's written approval is required.
g. Members are appointed by the commander and supervised by the
    EEO program manager.
h. Members will receive in-service training regularly.
i.  Members must support the EEO goals and objectives and attend
    monthly meetings.


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