EXECUTIVE ORDER 9981
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 served in our country’s
Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority invested in me as President 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 Establishment 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 designated 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, procedures 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 of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and Secretary of the Air Force, and shall make such recommendations
to the President and to said Secretaries as in the judgement of the Committee will effectuate the policy hereof.
4. All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government are authorized and directed
to cooperate with the Committee in its work, and to furnish the Committee such information 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 so, persons in the armed services or in any of the executive
departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall testify before the Committee and shall make available for use of
the Committee such documents and other information as the Committee may require.
6. The Committee shall continue to exist until such time as the President shall terminate its
existence by Executive Order.
The White House
July 26, 1948