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AF leaders announce latest diversity, inclusion initiatives



WASHINGTON (AFNS)
-- In ongoing efforts to attract and retain the most innovative, skillful and strategically agile force today, Air Force senior leaders released the second memorandum to Airmen relaying new diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The 13 new initiatives include notable efforts to raise the bar for geographically-separated military spouses, lengthen the early separation decision window for female Airmen having children, establish diverse slates for key military development positions, increase civilian opportunities for participation in professional development programs, and better market career fields to female and minority populations that currently lack diversity.

In March 2015, the Air Force launched nine initiatives to help build teams comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and demographics; however, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody acknowledged work remains to ensure continued success.

“Last year, we launched a set of initiatives designed to promote diversity and inclusion.” Air Force seniors said in the official memo. “These efforts recognized that to remain the world’s best Air Force we must compete for, develop and retain talent, skill and expertise in new and creative ways.”

The first round of initiatives included implementing the Career Intermission Program, creating the online mentorship tool MyVector, and generating opportunities to grow the female officer candidate pool.

“While these first initiatives have made progress, we must do more to develop and retain the talent we have today and build the total force of tomorrow,” the senior leaders stated in the memorandum. “To succeed in meeting current and future mission requirements, the Air Force relies on access to the best talent our nation has to offer. To compete for that talent in the future, we must place consistent emphasis on diversity and inclusion in order to attract and retain talent from an increasingly diverse population. Our ongoing initiatives represent another step in that direction.”

The newly released Air Force diversity and inclusion initiatives, according to the memo, align with Defense Department diversity efforts and recognize that the strength of the force will always be in its people.

“We will continue to look holistically at our talent management processes for opportunities to ensure our Air Force is an employer of choice for our nation’s best and brightest talent and capitalizes on the unique contributions of all Airmen,” Air Force leadership said.

Implementation guidance, to include details for each initiative, will be released by Oct. 15.

The memo from Air Force senior leaders is available here.

A fact sheet on all the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives is available here.

Air Force Diversity and Inclusion podcast is available here.