By 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
Officials in the Air Force Equal Opportunity Office and the Strategic Diversity Integration Office joined forces to produce a video that demonstrates the commitment of senior Air Force leaders to diversity and equal opportunity programs.
“I encourage all 21st Space Wing Airmen to view video titled “Diversity and Equal Opportunity in Our Air Force” that’s posted on Air Force Link,” said Col. Jay Raymond, 21st SW commander. “Promoting diversity is both the right thing to do and value-added to our space superiority mission.”
In the video Air Force senior leaders voice their perspectives on diversity and equal opportunity, citing the strength of the service: its people.
“People are to the mission as blood is to life,” said Tech. Sgt. Rodney Reed, 21st Space Wing Equal Opportunity Office acting director. “If it weren’t for the people the mission wouldn’t get done. In the same way that blood cells are diverse in appearance and ability, diversity of people is vital to the life of the mission.”
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz discussed his commitment to diversity and noted the importance of all individuals to mission readiness and war fighting capabilities.
“No one’s value to the mission is measured by their proximity to the fight,” General Schwartz said. “Diversity provides our force with an aggregation of strengths, perspectives and capabilities that transcend individual contributions.”
Diversity is defined as mission-oriented: exploiting the uniqueness of each Airman to enhance organizational effectiveness and readiness. Equal opportunity is defined as compliance-oriented: ensuring Airmen are treated fairly and work in an environment free of harassment and discrimination.
“Diversity is an education that allows you to go beyond your own experience,” said Sergeant Reed. “Even though we dress the same, it’s important not to forget that we’re all different in what we bring to the table and the ways we think.”
Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel, said the service takes a “total force” approach in leveraging the spectrum of talent and perspectives of its members.
Diversity allows everyone – active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilians – to reach his or her potential and provide their capabilities to the Air Force and to the joint team, General Newton said.
Kimberly Lither land, director of the Air Force equal opportunity office and video co-author, said she is extremely proud of this tangible product which demonstrates the importance of the application of diversity and equal opportunity principles to an organization’s accomplishments.
“The Air Force embraces equal opportunity and diversity, which yields phenomenal results, a great, effective team who delivers anytime, anywhere,” Ms. Lither land said.
“Diversity is everywhere, and it’s an enhancement to our mission,” said Sergeant Reed.
For more information about diversity and equal opportunity in the U.S. Air Force click here or contact the 21stt SW EO at 556-7693.
(Information provided by Tech. Sgt. Amana Lyle Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Office)