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SecAF introduces diversity initiatives

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James speaks to attendees at the Center for a New American Security's, "Women and Leadership in National Security," in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2015.  During her speech, James touted the diversity of the United States of America, and said the Air Force is working to continue to recruit and retain the best our nation has to offer.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James speaks to attendees at the Center for a New American Security's, "Women and Leadership in National Security," in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2015. During her speech, James touted the diversity of the United States of America, and said the Air Force is working to continue to recruit and retain the best our nation has to offer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Michele Flournoy, chief executive officer for the Center for a New American Security, and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James discuss issues during CNAS's, "Women and Leadership in National Security," conference in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2015.  During the conference, James gave a speech and touted the diversity of the United States of America, saying the Air Force is working to continue to recruit and retrain the best our nation has to offer.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Michele Flournoy, chief executive officer for the Center for a New American Security, and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James discuss issues during CNAS's, "Women and Leadership in National Security," conference in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2015. During the conference, James gave a speech and touted the diversity of the United States of America, saying the Air Force is working to continue to recruit and retrain the best our nation has to offer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James speaks to attendees at the Center for a New American Security's, "Women and Leadership in National Security," in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2015.  During her speech, James touted the diversity of the United States of America, and said the Air Force is working to continue to recruit and retain the best our nation has to offer.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James speaks to attendees at the Center for a New American Security's, "Women and Leadership in National Security," in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2015. During her speech, James touted the diversity of the United States of America, and said the Air Force is working to continue to recruit and retain the best our nation has to offer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James kicked off Women’s History Month by speaking to attendees during the Center for a New American Security “Women and Leadership in National Security” conference in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2015.  

“There’s simply no country in the world as widely diverse as the U.S." James said, who was the keynote speaker at the event. “Progress has been made, but we (the Air Force) can do better.”
 
She spoke about the steps the Air Force is taking to strengthen its diversity and inclusion by introducing nine initiatives.  James along with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh, III and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody, signed two memos that were sent out to all Airmen to help guide the Air Force efforts.

Air Force leaders want to ensure the service attracts and retains the most innovative, skillful Airmen possible. “Diversity and inclusion help us become more strategically agile,” James said.

The initiatives SecAF discussed were career path tool transformation, diversity and inclusion perspective for development team boards, promotion board memorandum of instruction (MOI), Career Intermission Program, increased female officer applicant pool, Reserve Officer Training Corps rated height screening, identifying high-performing enlisted Airmen for Officer Training School, post pregnancy deployment deferment, use of panels in civilian hiring. 

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