Equal opportunity readiness
By Lt. Col. Don Gomes, 20th Fighter Wing Equal Opportunity Office
/ Published June 16, 2017
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
On Jan. 18, 2017, Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force Chief of Staff said, “The readiness of the Air Force to achieve the country’s tactical and strategic goals is at risk and requires sustainable solutions” while talking to the American Enterprise Institute.
What does this have to do with equal opportunity’s readiness? EO is responsible to identify human relation issues that impact the overall mission effectiveness and readiness of the base populace to commanders.
As EO professionals (which includes officer, enlisted and civilian personnel) we are charged with monitoring the base human relations climate. EO uses the two primary methods to measure the climate, via the Defense Equal Opportunity Climate Survey and the “Out and About” program.
The DEOCS is a commander’s management tool that allows leaders to proactively assess critical organizational climate dimensions that can impact the unit’s mission. The DEOCS measures military equal opportunity, civilian equal employment opportunity, organizational effectiveness and sexual assault prevention and response. Yes there are many other survey’s out there, but the DEOCS is the “commander’s report card.” It gives good insight on the morale and climate of the unit.
When the commander receives the results of the DEOCS, EO personnel are available to assist the commander in interpreting the data and giving the commander tools to assist with any issues identified.
The second method EO uses to measure the human relations climate is via the “Out and About” program. Essentially EO professionals will visit a unit to gather information by speaking to unit personnel and observing personnel interaction in their own environment. By visiting a unit, this allows EO professionals to identify and assess any EO barriers that may exist in the unit. If any barriers exist, then the next task is to work with the unit commander and remove/neutralization the barriers of unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment.
EO readiness is essential to the functionality of the unit.
The earlier the commander, first sergeant, supervisor or individual addresses an issue, the better chances of successfully remedying the issue. If problems in the unit like conflict or harassment are not addressed and left to fester, then problems can make a unit ineffective and not ready to fight.
The most effective method to solve EO readiness issues, is if the offended person directly addresses the problem with the offender right after it happens, there is a greater chance for resolution.
If a third party is required, this is a great time to utilize the problem solving specialists, an EO Professional. EO professionals are trained to provide problem solving options to all personnel. Call us today at 803-895-1265.