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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. 

Learn more about the Department of the Air Force Barrier Analysis Working Groups (DAFBAWG) here. 

 

DoD pays tribute to LGBTQ+ service members

  • Published
  • By David Vergun
  • DOD News

Pride Month is a time to come together to honor the contributions of LGBTQ+ service members, said Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks, who spoke at the 11th LBGTQ+ Pride Ceremony at the Pentagon June 7.

As President Joe Biden recently stated, Pride Month is a time to remind the LGBTQ+ community that they are valued and deserve dignity, respect and support, she said.

51:03
VIDEO | 51:03 | Defense Department senior leaders including Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks, Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Shawn G. Skelly, assistant secretary of defense for readiness and Space Force Lt. Col. Bree Fram, deputy chief of acquisition policies and procedures make presentations at the 11th annual LBGTQ+ Pride Ceremony at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. Pride Month also upholds DoD's commitment to diversity and inclusion in all military branches. (Courtesy video)

The Defense Department strives to lead on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, including for LGBTQ+ people, she said.

"The DoD is committed to ensuring and promoting an atmosphere of dignity and respect for all civilian and military personnel. We strive to make the Department of Defense a workplace of choice for all Americans willing and qualified to serve. In doing so, we set a bedrock foundation where all personnel are valued and given an equal opportunity to succeed," she said.

Recruiting, developing and retaining a highly skilled military and civilian workforce of diverse talent is essential to U.S. warfighting success, she said.

"The department should not and cannot be a place that discourages outstanding LGBTQ+ individuals from a career in DoD because of actual or perceived barriers to entry or hostile workplace conditions," she said.

In September 2011, the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was repealed, allowing LGBTQ+ service members and civilians to acknowledge their sexual orientation and serve openly. In September, the DoD commemorated the 10-year anniversary of that repeal, she said.

"We will continue to advance policies and programs to develop and nurture a leadership pipeline of diverse talent and create pathways for everyone at DoD to realize their potential. We know that organizational climates affect our workforces' experiences. More to the point, it affects our warrior readiness. Therefore, we are directing initiatives to improve leaders' skill development and foster more effective, inclusive team environments," Hicks said.

The department is developing a diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility strategic plan to guide and direct activities to further those initiatives within the department, she said.

That plan is in the final stages of approval and will identify DoD's priorities and objectives for the coming year, Hicks said.

Progress will not be driven by policies and programs alone; it will also result from the individual actions each person takes every day, she said.

"The diversity of the United States is unquestionably one of our greatest strengths. Many here today have fought hard battles to overcome bigotry and be treated with dignity and respect that is due to every human being," Hicks said.

Pride Month is a time to celebrate progress, and it's also a time for the department, the nation and the world to acknowledge the challenges that remain and to reaffirm our commitment to equality for LGBTQ+ people, she said.

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
58 SOW Diversity and Inclusion
377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Video by Senior Airman Ireland Summers
Jan. 5, 2022 | 2:32
U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Curry, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, speaks about diversity and inclusion at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Jan. 5, 2022. More