Diversity and inclusion program managers train at 927th ARW

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Bradley Tipton
  • 927th Air Refueling Wing

A key step toward Air Force Reserve Command’s vision of weaving diversity and inclusion into the fabric of the organization is the education and training of program managers. The 927th Air Refueling Wing hosted one such course here on June 16-17, 2021.

Vice commanders throughout the command stepped up to learn and implement change from top to bottom at the direction of Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, commander, AFRC. “We are not going to just wait on this crisis to pass us by and go back to business as usual,” said Scobee during a Facebook live discussion, Aug. 7, 2020. “There are things within this command and the Air Force that have to change. Our Airmen are going to judge us on what we do to make sure we take care of them and their families and this is going to be part of it.”

Working to instill the foundation for success in participants, Lee Floyd, Air Force Reserve Command chief diversity and inclusion officer believes that these efforts are vital. He emphasized that changing our culture is the best way to compete for talent.

“Diversity and inclusion is about a competition,” said Floyd. “The department of defense, corporate America, foreign countries, we’re all competing for the same assets – those citizen airmen that we’re trying to attract, recruit and retain. If we don’t show those members who are part of the Air Force Reserve that this is the optimal place to work or we have barriers preventing them from rising to the highest level of responsibility, they’re going to go somewhere else.”

The two-day program is one of many intended to promote the objective throughout the command. Tasked to implement change at their wings, vice commanders brought along their hand-selected program implementors to engage in discussion and work through scenarios designed to help them understand the challenges framing racial inequality and injustice.

”When you have the best people on the team, you win,” said course participant Maj. Dario Donahoo, 315th Force Support Squadron operations officer, Joint Base Charleston, S.C. “I hope that as I find different strategies to implement these diversity and inclusion initiatives into the fabric of our organization, we ultimately retain and recruit people and that this is a place people want to work.”

Considering it more than just a program, Lee’s belief is that laying this groundwork will allow the entire command to grow as a place where everyone can be a valued part of the team.

“Diversity and inclusion will become ingrained into the fiber of everything we do. That includes promotions, hiring, recruitment, retention, the whole nine yards,” said Lee. “It’s going to become a way of life. Programs come and go but when you ingrain something into the fiber, it becomes so much a part of the way you do business that you don’t even have to think about it. That’s what this initiative is designed to do for us.”