Honoring 43 Years of Mission Readiness
British senior Equal Opportunity and Diversity leaders train with DEOMI Senior Leader Trainers
Lt. Col. Kay Emerson
Director, Senior Leader Training
Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - While some military and federal civilian workers enjoyed a day off in observance of Presidents' Day, a handful of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) and Air Force Technical Application Center (AFTAC) personnel were training with senior Equal Opportunity and Diversity leaders from the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Ministry of Defence, and the British equivalent to DEOMI, the Joint Equity and Diversity Training Center or JEDTC.
The day-and-a-half event referred to as a Leadership Awareness Exchange was based upon the DEOMI Senior Leader Training team's flagship course, the Leadership Team Awareness Seminar. The exchange included discussions on the topics of Socialization, Prevention of Sexual Harassment, Beyond Victimology, Religious Accommodation, and Capitalizing on Diversity. Army Master Sgt. William McCauslin and Air Force Master Sgt. Danny Alltop, both of the Senior Leader Training Team, along with Chaplain (Commander) Charlotte Hunter, US Navy, facilitated the lively discussions and guided the attendees through experiential activities. The purpose of the exchange was to give the British equity and diversity leadership an opportunity to experience how DEOMI trains senior leaders in order to consider possibly incorporating the techniques in their training of senior leaders. The Equal Opportunity training program for the senior leadership in the UK does not currently permit as much experiential process in their training, but the entire team saw the value added by using the DEOMI method of facilitated discussion and activities to refresh senior members in the UK on the importance of equity.
The exchange was a tremendous success according to Commander Debbie Whittingham, Commandant, JEDTC.
"Wow! This is exactly what we need. I wish we could get our leaders to a course like this!"
The British Forces train their equivalent of the U.S. Military Equal Opportunity Advisors during a one-week course, as compared to the redesigned EO Advisors Program length of five weeks, not including Service specific training. Senior leaders in the British forces receive one day of EO training.
The British equity and diversity leadership participated in an entire afternoon discussion on the use of the DEOMI EO Climate Survey to potentially help the UK military leadership manage potential complaints received from surveys conducted in their units. The Minister of Defence Office for Equity and Policy office had received a detailed briefing in September 2008 on the use of the DEOCS to help the leadership build more awareness of the potential problems expressed by members of their commands. The Second Sea Lord (equal to the US Chief of Naval Personnel) asked for information on the use of the DEOCS and requested DEOMI brief him on the potential use of the survey.
The UK team participating in the training exchange included senior Service Liaison Officers from the Tri-Services of the UK. Their mission was to learn as much as possible on using the survey across the UK military. The Ministry of Defence has not agreed to use the DEOCS across the Services, but is interested in pursuing the initiative upon return to the UK. The partnership of JEDTC and DEOMI is focused on sharing knowledge and best practices to maximize the human capital and fiscal resources of our respective countries.