Mission effectiveness relies on equal treatment of all

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lionel Dumas
  • 341st Civil Engineer Squadron
Over the past 20 days I have been shadowing the 341st Missile Wing Equal Opportunity office as a potential retrainee. During this time I have learned a plethora of things, but the most important is how unit cohesion has a direct impact on the Air Force mission. Also, I have learned that things that we do day-to-day can have a negative impact on unit cohesion.

The mission is the top priority in the Air Force. No matter your Air Force specialty code or rank, your daily operations have a direct impact on it. But how effective can someone be at their position if they are constantly harassed? How are we all ensuring that this harassment doesn't happen? It's everyone's responsibility to ensure that their work center is inclusive and free of harassment, thereby enhancing unit cohesiveness, military readiness and mission accomplishment.

Many complain about political correctness and having to change his or her behavior because someone new joins the work center. We are all professionals and if you have to change your behavior around certain people then maybe your behavior wasn't appropriate in the first place. The Air Force has a zero tolerance policy against discrimination and sexual harassment, not a "Except when ______ is around" or a "Not a big deal" policy.

The easiest thing to do is just to avoid minor day-to-day situations such as inappropriate jokes and comments. The Air Force needs everyone to operate at its full potential and it's all of our responsibility to ensure that it happens.

The following steps should help you deal with those minor day-to-day situations:

- If you are in a leadership or supervisory position, ensure you set the example and enforce the zero tolerance policy regardless of your personal feelings.

- If you feel a friend or coworker has violated the policy, inform that individual his or her behavior is unacceptable. If they continue, inform your chain of command.

- If you are accused of offending someone, stop the behavior and apologize immediately.

- If you are in a command or supervisory position and become aware of a violation, you must take action to address the situation.

- If all else fails, contact the Equal Opportunity office at 731-4525 for assistance.