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Honoring 43 Years of Mission Readiness

Feature Stories



DEOMI continues breaking new ground five years after moving into new campus

By Bryan Ripple
DEOMI Public Affairs Officer

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - As the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), marks its fifth year of occupancy in its new campus, the event provides a good opportunity to take a look back at the history of the Institute and remember why it's so critical to mission success today for the nation's military commanders.

With a single snip of a pair of scissors, Dr. David S. Chu, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, joined by several high-ranking military and civilian leaders, easily cut a ceremonial dedication ribbon Jan. 14, 2004, symbolizing the opening of the new home of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute here.

Getting the two-story, 94,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility built was anything but-easy that is.

More than six years in the making, a new campus task force was established in the early 1990's with construction beginning in April 2002. DEOMI's first students in the new Mediterranean style structure on the beautiful Banana River began classes in late January 2004.

During the ceremony, Dr. Chu commented on the factors that led to DEOMI's emergence more than three decades ago.

"Years ago, our military was deeply troubled with racial unrest and turmoil plagued several military installations and ships. None of the military services was exempt," said Dr. Chu, who reached the rank of Captain when he left the Army in 1970.

"In some cases, these civil disturbances directly interfered with the military's ability to execute its mission and fight effectively," he said.

To counteract these disturbances, an inter-service task force was formed to examine the causes-and more importantly-to find possible solutions for the racial strife within the Services.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Lucius Theus [then Colonel Theus] was chosen to head the task force, which resulted in the Department of Defense Directive 1322.11, establishing the Race Relations Board, and in 1971, created the Defense Race Relations Institute, the original name for DEOMI, which was renamed in July 1979, with an expanded mission to consider areas of equity beyond race.

Since that first seven-week course, the Institute has continuously expanded to meet the needs of field commanders and agency heads. As a result, DEOMI now addresses a wide array of issues, including disability, diversity, sexism, religious accommodations, and anti-Semitism.

In addition to being the leader in Equal Opportunity and Equal Employment Opportunity training, DEOMI is now also emerging as a Center of Excellence for DOD for research of Cross-Cultural Competence.

While always researching new field requirements to maintain currency of its curriculum, DEOMI was reaccredited for six years in 2006 by the Council on Occupational Education (COE), a national institutional accrediting agency that assures quality in education. Six years is the maximum time allowable before a return COE visit.

A tremendous amount of work is done each year to ensure the curriculum of each course taught at DEOMI provides students the tools they need to do their jobs.

After years of research, analysis, and curriculum development by the Research Directorate, Curriculum & Faculty Programs Directorate, as well as other subject matter experts, DEOMI is currently launching a re-designed Equal Opportunity Advisor Program (EOAP) with students now enrolling into Phase I of the program.

The new EOAP consists of Phase 1 (online training), Phase 2 (in-resident training), and service specific training at DEOMI.

Students now enrolling in the new EOAP will be pioneers of sorts as they become the first students enrolled in the redesigned course-the biggest change to training curriculum at the Institute in more than 30 years.

DEOMI also reaches out across the spectrum of DOD and civilian Federal Government organizations with its Mobile Training Teams or MTTs to conduct Equal Opportunity and Equal Employment Opportunity training. Since 2004 the MTTs have reached thousands of students in various training sessions including the Leadership Team Awareness Seminar, Senior Executive Equal Opportunity Seminar, Equal Opportunity Program Managers Course and others.

Another very important tool that DEOMI provides military commanders with is the DEOMI Climate Survey or DEOCS which is now mandated for use by three of the five Services including the Army National Guard. Launched just four years ago, the online version of DEOCS has come a long way since being introduced by the DEOMI Research Directorate in October 2004. The DEOCS builds upon the database developed first by the Military Equal Opportunity Climate Survey-or MEOCS, and now includes more than 3.5 million respondents in the database.

DEOMI dedicates new campus on January 14, 2004
The ribbon is cut during the ceremony commemorating the new campus of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute at Patrick AFB, Fla., Jan. 14, 2004. Doing the honors then were (left to right) Chief Master Sgt. Julie Crutchfield, DEOMI Senior Enlisted Advisor, Mr. William Chivers, President, RUSH Construction, Inc., Ms. Shirley A. Martinez, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Equal Opportunity, Dr. David S. Chu, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Mr. John M. Molino, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity, Navy CAPT Robert D. Watts, DEOMI Commandant, and Brig. Gen. Greg Pavlovich, Commander, 45th Space Wing.
45th Space Wing Photo - Mr. Jim Laviska


The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute
The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute officially opened the doors to its new home Jan. 14, 2004 along the banks of the beautiful Banana River on Patrick Air Force Base. Since the beginning of the Institute in 1971 when it was then known as the Defense Race Relations Institute, more than 30,000 students have been trained in the areas of Equal Opportunity and Equal Employment Opportunity. This Institute had previously occupied several World War II era buildings scattered about the base and some classes were even taught at a local hotel.
DEOMI File Photo.


Master Chief Petty Officer Evelyn P. Banks addresses graduating members of the Equal Opportunity Advisor Program, Class 09-1, December 12, 2008.
Master Chief Petty Officer Evelyn P. Banks, Command Master Chief for the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. addresses graduating students from the Equal Opportunity Advisor Program, Class 09-1, Dec. 12, 2008. This was the last EOAP to be conducted before the implementation of the redesigned course with students now being enrolled in Phase 1 that will include 17 online training modules.
45th Space Wing Photo/Mr. Jim Laviska


Equal Opportunity Advisor Program, Class 09-1
About 70 students graduated from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute's Equal Opportunity Advisor Program December 12, 2008 and have gone back to their units to become Equal Opportunity Advisors. The curriculum develops a base of knowledge and skills that allow graduates to assess human relations climates in the organizations they serve, and to provide advice and assistance to commanders to prevent, reduce, or eliminate discriminatory practices.
45th Space Wing Photo/Mr. Jim Laviska


The DEOCS questionnaire is intended for organizations with as few as 16 members, and is suitable for military and/or civilian personnel. It allows leaders to proactively assess critical organizational climate dimensions that can impact organizational effectiveness. The questionnaire uses the shared perceptions of an organization's members to measure climate factors associated with military equal opportunity (EO) and civilian equal employment opportunity (EEO) issues, and provides an estimate of organizational effectiveness (OE).

In addition, respondents can report whether they personally experienced discrimination or sexual harassment during the past 12 months while at work, indicate the type of discrimination they experienced (e.g., race, sex, religion, etc.), and state whether they took action following the incident of discrimination or sexual harassment (e.g., reported it to an EOA/EEO representative or the supervisor, confronted the offender, or filed a formal complaint). Finally, respondents can report their level of satisfaction with how the issue of discrimination or sexual harassment was resolved, using a five-point (Very Satisfied to Very Dissatisfied) scale. The DEOCS also allows commanders who utilize it to specify as many as 10 locally-developed questions to get more granular information on their units.

Commanders at all levels realize what an important tool DEOCS is to their commands.

"Taking care of people is a fundamental responsibility of all leaders. The DEOCS Command Climate Survey is an effective tool to assess the health and well-being of a command. The survey contributes to mission effectiveness," said Admiral Tim Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command.

Following the release of the first version of the online DEOCS in 2004, 1,326 individual units requested the survey, providing valuable feedback about their commands' climate to leadership. In comparison, 3,622 units made the request in 2008, an increase of 173 percent.

After students graduate from training at DEOMI, the institute provides them and their commanders valuable reach-back capability through the DEOMI Resource Network, or DRN, which is a resource available on the DEOMI.org Website. The DRN is a ready reference site, easily navigated by customers to find materials in support of the EO, EEO, diversity, cultural readiness programs throughout DOD.

"The change in scenery and the upgrading of our facilities is a very good thing.  What has not changed - and what will never change as long as there is a need for DEOMI - is our focus on mission readiness, and on the indisputable fact that an effective and fair equal opportunity program is a real force multiplier," said Dr. William Yates, DEOMI Dean of Education.

Whether students receive training at DEOMI's campus in Florida or from members of the Institute's Mobile Training Teams at locations around the world, they can be assured they'll benefit from instructors who are experienced and knowledgeable educators. DEOMI is committed to Equal Opportunity and Equal Employment Opportunity, facilitating opportunities for the employment and advancement of underrepresented groups in the workforce, and removing barriers in personnel systems and practices.

For more information about the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, please visit the DEOMI website.


 
DEOMI's campus is located at: 366 Tuskegee Airmen Drive | Patrick Air Force Base, FL 32925-3399.
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