ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The Department of the Air Force began seeking feedback through a survey for the second ongoing Inspector General Independent Disparity Review April 9.
The review, directed by Acting Secretary of the Air Force John P. Roth, Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. Raymond, expands its focus to gender and ethnicity, including Hispanics, Latinos, Asians, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
“Each Airman and Guardian should have the opportunity to thrive,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth. “As a department, we need to understand what is happening, so we can knock down barriers to success; that process requires listening and gathering the facts. I ask and encourage all Airmen or Guardians to share their inputs and ideas so we can address the issues that will make our services better, more inclusive organizations.”
The first review focused primarily on racial disparity among African-Americans in the service. It confirmed racial disparity exists in multiple areas, including military justice, administrative separations, placement into occupational career fields, certain promotion rates, professional military educational development and leadership opportunities.
“The review we conducted last year and the follow up efforts we’ve taken since have really opened the door to meaningful, enduring and sustainable change in the areas of racial disparity,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. “But we have a lot more work to do, and the overwhelming responses we had from our first review indicate that our Airmen and Guardians want to have a voice in the solution. I am 100-percent focused on ensuring we follow through with lasting results.”
This review will be conducted in the same manner as the first one through anonymous online surveys, targeted interviews, targeted small-group surveys and a comprehensive review of available data.
“Diversity and inclusion underpins the readiness of our Air and Space Forces," said Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. Raymond. “This disparity review across gender, race, and ethnicity opens the aperture, allowing us to dig deeper into an issue that affects all of our Guardians and Airmen. We will continue to solicit and hear the experiences, perspectives, and concerns of those who serve. Together, we will create an environment where Guardians and Airmen can thrive, and where they are only defined by their excellence.”
Since the release of the first DAF-IG Disparity Review in December 2020, key stakeholders throughout the department have been deliberately addressing the findings and recommendations in the report. Part of that includes carefully conducting root-cause analysis and when warranted, devising systemic, meaningful and lasting corrective actions.
The Air Force recently released the Air Force’s Rated Diversity Initiative Strategy focused on increasing diversity within rated career fields, launched the Aim High Flight Academy to expose 72 more diverse, highly qualified applicants from underrepresented groups to a 3-week solo flight academy experience and expanded college scholarships for underrepresented selectees to attend more high-graduation-rate colleges.
The Space Force established a University Partnership Program that intentionally includes Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority serving institutions, is leveraging minority mentoring partnerships with organizations such as SPACE CAMP that supports diversity of perspectives for STEM-centric fields, and is integrating experiential instruction into the Space Force NCO Academy curriculum to bridge the gap between theory and application of cultural competency skills.
This summer, the Department of The Air Force Inspector General will provide a publicly-released update on progress since the release of the first racial disparity review, as well as the results of the second disparity review.