About D&I in AETC

Air Education and Training Command leaders are diligently working to remove barriers, promote mutual respect, and encourage tough conversations in safe spaces.

The First Command is leading efforts to strengthen diversity through deliberate actions to raise awareness about opportunities; developing partnerships with underrepresented groups; removing barriers to serve and providing mentorship to our current force.

 Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-7001, Diversity & Inclusion, broadly defines diversity as “a composite of individual characteristics, experiences, and abilities consistent with the Air Force Core Values and the Air Force Mission. Air Force diversity includes, but is not limited to: personal life experiences, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, cultural knowledge, educational background, work experience, language abilities, physical abilities, philosophical and spiritual perspectives, age, race, ethnicity, and gender.” The Air Force increases its warfighting capabilities and lethality by attracting talent from a diverse body of applicants and leveraging their unique characteristics, experiences, and abilities.

 

Learn more about the U.S. Air Force Rated Diversity Improvement Strategy here. 

 

Diversity and Inclusion Videos

Video by Andriy Agashchuk, Marcelo Joniaux, Tech. Sgt. Tenelle Marshall
Real Talk: Race and Diversity in the Air Force - June 17, 2021
502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
June 17, 2021 | 48:52
Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Education and Training Command, hosts the seventh episode of Real Talk: Race and Diversity in the Air Force, June 17th, 2021. Joining Lt. Gen. Webb for this episode will be: Brig. Gen. Brenda Cartier, Incoming AETC Director of Operations.
More

Air Force readdresses women’s hair standard after feedback

The Air Force revises Air Force Instruction 36-2903 to address differences in hair density and texture June 25, 2021. When hair is secured behind the head, the hair may extend six inches to the left and to the right and six inches protruding from the point where the hair is gathered. The 12-inch total width must allow for proper wear of headgear. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

The Air Force revises Air Force Instruction 36-2903 to address differences in hair density and texture June 25, 2021. When hair is secured behind the head, the hair may extend six inches to the left and to the right and six inches protruding from the point where the hair is gathered. The 12-inch total width must allow for proper wear of headgear. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Building on women’s hair updates announced in February 2021, the Air Force will further revise Air Force Instruction 36-2903 to address differences in hair density and texture. 

Previously, hair worn in a bun, braid, ponytail or equivalent could not extend beyond the width of the head. Beginning June 25, when hair is secured behind the head, the hair may extend six inches to the left and to the right and six inches protruding from the point where the hair is gathered. The 12-inch total width must allow for proper wear of headgear.

“Change doesn’t happen overnight, and sometimes it takes another iteration to arrive at the best solution,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. “This updated guidance represents meaningful progress. The feedback we received from our Airmen highlighted the need to reevaluate the policy and ultimately, make it more inclusive.”

The change addresses feedback received since the previous guidance was originally published. Specifically, women voiced concerns over difficulty related to securing hair in a manner that does not extend beyond the head.

“In developing policy we try to address all angles and perspectives, but sometimes we have a blind spot,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “The feedback we received highlighted the need to reevaluate the policy to make it even more inclusive.”

Initial changes to women’s hair standards were the result of various recommendations issued last fall by the Air Force uniform board. The group of 19 Airmen included a diverse group of men and women with officers and enlisted members from various ethnic and occupational backgrounds across major commands and headquarters directories.

“Whether we’re talking about hair, uniforms or forums for sharing ideas, an approach that embraces diversity and fosters an inclusive environment is critical to ensuring our talented, dedicated Airmen stay with us on this journey,” said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass.

Members must adhere to current occupational safety, fire and health guidance, and mishap prevention procedures emphasizing when and how to mitigate the potential for injury from hair of varying lengths and styles around machinery, equipment, power transmission apparatus or moving parts. Airmen are encouraged to reach out to their safety office for assistance in analyzing any potential hazards, as applicable.

At this time, Guardians will adhere to the grooming standards of the U.S. Air Force until the U.S. Space Force develops its own policy.

Additional ideas generated from the uniform board are still under consideration for policy change and updates will be released as they become available.

To accelerate Air Force aircrew diversity efforts and safely meet accession demands during the ongoing study, critical flying CEA carrier fields and applicable aircraft were surveyed at the request of Air Education and Training Command leadership. Based on preliminary data, interim height standards have been established for specific CEA Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSCs), and are effective immediately. (U.S. Air Force graphic / Master Sgt. Caitlin Jones Martin)
Recognizing the value of having and developing agile thinkers at all levels of the Air Force who have diverse backgrounds and experiences, Air Education and Training Command leaders have taken deliberate actions focused on diversity and inclusion for both recruits and current Airmen and Guardians. At 19th Air Force, several initiatives have been undertaken to identify and eliminate structural bias undergraduate flying training pipeline processes and syllabi in order to better foster an environment of dignity, respect, mentorship and inclusion through improved dialogue, training and professional development.
AFRS’ Detachment 1 was activated in October 2018 and develops innovative programs in support of the service’s Total Force (active-duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve) recruiting efforts. Members of the detachment focus on pre-accession audiences (youths, young adults and their influencers) and work with partners to provide pathways to accession sources like The U.S. Air Force Academy, ROTC and Officer Training School.
As part of the Air Force's efforts to provide early exposure to aviation to raise awareness of potential opportunities to serve among diverse youth, the Air Force Recruiting Service and AFRS Det.1 active-duty Aviation Inspiration Mentors facilitate programs like Pathway to Wings and Aim High Flight Academies. Additional programs are run through Air University's Headquarters Reserve Officer Training Corps and Junior ROTC programs, including scholarships and a flight academy.
Rated Diversity Improvement Strategy is the Air Force’s flight plan to strengthen diversity within rated career fields through three overarching goals: Attract and recruit the best talent from diverse backgrounds to cultivate a high performing and innovative Air Force reflective of the best of our nation. Develop and retain the Air Force’s best rated aircrew by harnessing diversity as a force-multiplier and fostering a culture of inclusion. Optimize diversity advancement efforts by leveraging data driven approaches.