Assessing the situation

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Savannah L. Waters
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Going into work filled with dread is something everyone has experienced at one time or another. Knowing that you have piles of work to catch up on, or that it’s going to be a particularly busy day is one thing. But what happens if you dread work because of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment?

Ensuring Air Force personnel have a healthy environment to work in free from personal, social or institutional barriers within their organization is a priority of the Ramstein Air Base Equal Opportunity Program. Every day, EO strives to further educate the base populace on what they can do for people that work here.

“I think the biggest part of our job is that we have to think about our people and their resiliency, and if they are able to come to work and perform the mission,” said Tech. Sgt. Lakeisha Jones, 86th Airlift Wing Equal Opportunity advisor.

One of the biggest programs that EO uses to assess a unit’s mission effectiveness is called the Out and About Program.

“The purpose of the Out and About Program is to gather EO and human relations information that may impact installation personnel,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeannette Warr, 86th EO, NCO in charge.

Once a new commander takes command, they have 120 days to complete an organizations’ Defense Equal Opportunity Climate Survey. After the first assessment, it is conducted annually until another commander assumes the role.

With coordination between EO and different units, these assessments allow the commander to know the human relations climate of an organization. The commander and leaders get a second set of eyes that are not within their organization for ideas and process improvements.

 “As a team, we want to make sure that personnel are being evaluated based off of their individual merit and capabilities within their organization and not of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or sexual orientation,” Warr said.

Meeting the people, assessing the morale, and determining the communication flow within a workplace is an essential part of EO’s DEOCS mission. This gives them a chance to remind military members and civilian personnel of their protected categories, as well as educating the base population on reporting complaints.

“We are making sure they have everything they need to do their job,” Jones said.

In addition to the annual unit assessments and DEOCS, EO provides human relations education, mediation and conflict resolution, equal opportunity and treatment incidents, and specialized training services.

The EO office is located at Kapaun Air Station, Germany. For more information, call DSN 489-8534.