Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr. issued 121 "Z-grams" during his term in office. These policy directives addressed everything from Naval uniforms to salaries and equal treatment of all naval personnel.
CNO Zumwalt's Z-Gram 66 (Equal Opportunity), 17 December 1970, affirmed CNO support for the Secretary of the Navy's ALNAV51 to maximize the Navy's efforts to improve race relations and make equal opportunity in the Navy a reality. Under Zumwalt's leadership, the Navy established minority affairs offices and increased the number of African American officers; Samuel Gravely, Jr. achieved the rank of Rear Admiral during Zumwalt's term as CNO.
Three students from the Naval War College class of 1973-1974 dealt with these issues. William Barnett considered the general issue of race relations in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine James P. Connolly II directly addressed the issue of race in his unit, the 3rd Marines, and Joseph P. Gratto focused on cultural differences that affected communication and leadership in the Navy community.