HomeNewsArticle Display

Diversity and Inclusion update

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

The Department of the Air Force, on behalf of both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force, stood up a special task force June 9, to address the issue of racial, ethnic and other demographic disparities and their impact on the forces.

 

To date, the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force has facilitated the following changes:

Partnering to increase awareness of Air and Space Force opportunities

The Department of the Air Force has started partnering discussions with the National Pan-Hellenic Council, a collaborative organization of historically African American fraternities and sororities, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, an organization providing leadership development and educational services for emerging Latinx/Hispanic leaders. By partnering with these respected organizations, the Air Force helps to increase awareness of educational and career opportunities in the Air Force for both youth and influencers in these communities that may not have regular access or exposure to Air and Space professionals, or Air and Space Force lifestyles. It also benefits Air Force leaders to network with leaders of these organizations, to learn about all that they are doing to cultivate talent within their communities.

Ensuring a public presence that showcases all Air and Space Professionals

The Air Force conducted a thorough review of its flagship websites and social media sites to ensure content is reflective of those who serve within the Air Force. It is imperative in order to recruit and retain a diverse force of Air and Space Professionals that products and content showcase all who serve. The Department performed two reviews of airforce.com, social media and the AIM HIGH app. Diversity requirements are specifically spelled out in the task orders for the Air Force’s advertising and marketing contracts. As an example, the Digital Engagement Task Order states “all plans will include methods to attract a diverse candidate pool to include minorities and females. For this purpose, minorities shall refer to African American, Hispanic and Asian Pacific audiences.” The review found that all stated requirements are being met. To ensure inclusiveness of all who serve, the Air Force’s advertising agency is working to determine how to incorporate Department of the Air Force civilians into content as well.

Minority-serving institutions ROTC scholarships

In conjunction with the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, the task force is working to increase and offer scholarships for nearly 300 current and future ROTC cadets attending historically black colleges and universities or Hispanic-serving institutions. The qualified recipients will receive a full-ride scholarship with full tuition and fees paid starting in the 2020-21 school year. The move is intended to increase minority representation in the officer ranks, which the Air Force has struggled with. Currently, racial and ethnic minorities make up 40% of the U.S. population but only 24% of the Air Force officer corps.

Revised dress and appearance regulation

In an effort to be more inclusive of all Airmen and Space Professionals, the task force worked to revise Air Force Instruction 36-2903, “Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel.” The changes include removal of subjective language, including the word “faddish” and references to complexion; both subjective terms that were in some cases disproportionately affecting specific demographic groups. The update also included authorization for men to wear their hair parted (cut, clipped or shaved), and authorization for name tapes to include diacritical accents, which aid in proper pronunciation and provide a more accurate representation of a legal name.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Unconscious Bias Training

The task force, in conjunction with headquarters staff, has finished post-production of a new video on unconscious bias to highlight bias mitigation strategies that will maximize talent and benefit the entire force. The task force is also working with Cornell University to enroll several members of the Department of the Air Force Barrier Analysis Working Group in an online Diversity and Inclusion certificate program. These leaders will be equipped with fundamental diversity and inclusion concepts and required to share this information with their respective teams as well as Airmen and Space Professionals at the major command and installation levels. The task force is assembling options for department leaders to determine their intent for how training will be rolled out to the forces over the coming months and years, and at what touch points in the talent management life cycle of Airmen and Space Professionals that training will be most effective.

Improved shaving waiver procedures

In conjunction with the Air Force Surgeon General, the task force used feedback from the field to improve the shaving waiver process. Air and Space Professionals who have been diagnosed with pseudofolliculitis barbae, or PFB, are now authorized five-year shaving waivers. The previous policy required PFB waivers to be updated annually or when a member moved to a new duty location. In some cases, members who had been previously diagnosed with PFB were required to get a new waiver when they moved or deployed, forcing them to shave and aggravate their skin condition or have limited duties while they awaited a new medical appointment. This change is intended to eliminate the burdensome waiver process that was negatively impacting minority members, as PFB more frequently occurs in Black/African American males, and it also allows more time for the skin to heal properly. The waiver will be valid for five years from the date of issuance, or upon an updated diagnosis, and will remain valid regardless of the member’s deployment or new permanent change of station location.

“Our work is certainly cut out for us and we have a list of items to tackle, but we are listening and we hear you,” said Brig. Gen. Troy Dunn, Air Force director of Military Force Policy and recently appointed director of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. “Racial disparity is a national issue that impacts all facets of American life and we will not rest until our Airmen and Space Professionals feel like they truly belong and are thriving in an organization that values diversity and equality.”

Helping agencies are available to assist Airmen and Space Professionals address diversity issues

In partnership with the Department of Defense, the Air Force Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is working with existing helping agencies to ensure Airmen and Space Professionals know how to seek help. In the event that an individual is seeking assistance in addressing Diversity and Inclusion issues, these agencies are equipped to offer free non-medical, confidential support and counseling. Military OneSource and Military & Family Life Counselors are equipped to address issues related to stress, communication, anger, grief, loss and day-to-day challenges of military life. Counselors can also provide information about how to engage Equal Opportunity offices and access important EO services, to include reporting discrimination and harassment, and facilitating difficult conversations. For 24/7 assistance, call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or contact your local MFLC. For more information about helping agencies, visit the following websites:

https://www.resilience.af.mil/Helping-Agencies/ 
https://www.af.mil/Equal-Opportunity/
https://www.militaryonesource.mil/

 

 

Engage

Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: “It feels amazing to help. It makes us proud to wear this uniform, and it reminds us why we put it on and why we raised o…
Twitter
.@RamsteinAirBase welcomed 200 volunteers sent by the German military in support of Operation Allies Refuge during… https://t.co/GsAf6EQzi4
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, we will never forget. #PatriotDay #NationalDayofServiceandRemembrance https://t.co/PfGXl…
Twitter
.@TeamMinot, N.D., hosted Operation Road Warrior for its #Defenders and Wyoming's @90thMissileWing security forces… https://t.co/xnFRoierGT
Twitter
Today, we recognize Patriot Day and remember the thousands of lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. We acknow… https://t.co/BMgNcZ9fuE
Twitter
Multinational students and #AirForce instructors from around the globe came together to learn and expand on allied… https://t.co/1qtqi9OrN2
Twitter
Throughout August, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, @grandslamwing operated as a transit hub for Afghan refugees evacuated… https://t.co/amVMg8VqlE
Twitter
The #AirForce released its 2021 assessment on how states support Air and Space Force families. The evaluation measu… https://t.co/bseHKsXUzM
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A message from @USAirForce & @SpaceForceDoD senior leaders leading up to 9/11: "We will never forget the nearly 3,000 in…
Twitter
Findings from the Department of the Air Force Inspector General Independent Racial Disparity review have been relea… https://t.co/zUZyNB2gT4
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall on the two disparity reviews released today by the Department of the Air Force: "[This] isn’t the end of a…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Our continued commitment of honesty and transparency to the women and men of the Air Force and Space Force remains unwaveri…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: We must continue to listen to our people, understand what they are experiencing, and receive their feedback as we take st…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Department of the Air Force released updates on its first Racial Disparity Review & the results of a second, expande…
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force released a progress update on the Inspector General Independent Racial Disparity Re… https://t.co/yStaRW3ZA9
Twitter
Innovators and thought leaders gathered at the AFWERX Innovation Hub in Las Vegas, Nevada, to review technologies t… https://t.co/Oozq4M1Xek
Twitter
Air chiefs and senior enlisted leaders from the Indo-Pacific region gathered for the Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium a… https://t.co/E3nzEm18If
Twitter
A new technology being directed for use by all @USAF_ACC installations. The Command and Control Incident Management… https://t.co/ovEDVVTYAB
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,374,711
Follow Us