Airmen diversity strengthens unit effectiveness
By Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Underwood, 129th Rescue Wing Human Resources Advisor
/ Published December 14, 2009
MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- Diversity in the Air National Guard is broadly defined as recognizing, respecting, and embracing the relative differences in thoughts, experiences, and abilities of our Airmen consistent with our core values. The Air National Guard's vision on diversity is "Adaptable Airmen leading in diversity; serving whenever and where ever!"
Diversity has become a more subtle and sophisticated issue than merely counting numbers by gender and race, said Gen. Craig McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. "It's about the art - not the science - of dealing with individuals."
As human resource advisor for the 129th Rescue Wing, my tasks include advising command leadership on issues and trends in diversity education and assisting them in managing diversity within their units.
According to diversity research scientist, Dr. Kizzy M. Parks, "Good diversity management is not managed by an organization's demographics, but by how well leaders identify and capitalize its members' talents." With this said, it is my vision to help create an environment in our wing that harnesses the talents, strengths and knowledge of our individual and diverse Airmen. With these efforts we can be most effective in achieving our mission and goals as we enhance our retention, productivity and mission readiness.
Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer M. Reecy, human resource advisor for the 114th Fighter Wing in South Dakota, added, "Respecting our unique individuality, our differences, allows each of us to contribute the best of ourselves. This is the proven strength of the Air National Guard."
As we continue to push the flywheel and raise the bar that the Air National Guard Office of Cultural Leadership and Development has set for us, I challenge leaders in our wing to continue the flywheel momentum by interweaving these points into your agendas for all meetings and monthly roll-calls:
· Diversity is an inclusive culture of personal growth which leads to organizational success.
· The diversity of our ANG provides our force an aggregation of strengths, perspectives and capabilities that transcend individual contributions.
Ask yourself; "What did I do today to push on the flywheel?"
· How do you "Raise the Bar" in your commitment to champion diversity in the Air National Guard?
· How do you live to ensure you include, engage, and empower Airmen?
· How do you maximize individual strengths and combine individual abilities and perspectives for the good of the mission?