Assessing the Health and Wellness of the Command

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Gwendolyn Ford
  • 341st Missile Wing Equal Opportunity
With the new year comes new changes; as the old saying goes, "out with the old and in with the new." The Unit Climate Assessment as we've known it has been replaced with the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Organizational Climate Survey. The DEOCS program was launched four years ago and has already been in use by the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

In May 2013, the Secretary of Defense directed measures to strengthen sexual assault prevention programs. This prompted the requirement for annual assessments in which the new tool helps to streamline this process. With the new requirement, commanders must conduct a climate assessment within 120 days after assumption of command and annually thereafter while retaining command. Also new is the requirement to provide results to the commander at the next level in the chain of command.

The DEOCS provides commanders an accurate snapshot of their unit's climate, allowing them to proactively identify and correct climate issues that might otherwise grow more serious. This enables leaders to avoid what could become a hurdle to organizational effectiveness.

Like the UCA, the DEOCS is an online survey that can be taken from any computer. Unlike the UCA, the DEOCS survey contains 95 questions with four major groupings; equal opportunity/equal employment opportunity/fair treatment, organizational effectiveness, perceptions of discrimination/sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention and response. Commanders still have the option to include 10 locally developed questions but they now have the option to choose five short answer questions. This allows members to fully express their thoughts and perceptions to the applicable questions.

Many people are often concerned about anonymity. Respondents' anonymity is protected when completing the online survey by using a computer-generated, untraceable password. Additionally, no personally identifying information is collected. Military members and civilians are able to participate in the assessment; however, contractors are not included.

The Air Force initiated the mandatory use of the new assessment tool Jan. 1. 341st Missile Wing team members are able to participate right now during the wing-wide assessment requested by Col. Robert Stanley, 341st MW commander. The assessment began on Jan. 15 and will be available until Feb 5.

We highly encourage participation in this assessment. Please take the time to help provide leaders with the tools necessary to help you succeed. We not only want to hear the concerns but the success stories as well; things that have gone well and best practices that may be utilized.

If you have any questions about the DEOCS, please contact the 341st MW Equal Opportunity office at 406-731-4525.