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    Through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Task Force ensures First Army puts people first

    Through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Task Force ensures First Army puts people first

    Photo By Master Sgt. Sean McCollum | Army Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, identified People as his number-one...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. Sean McCollum 

    First Army

    The Army's Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, identified People as his number-one priority.

    “People are our Soldiers – Regular Army, National Guard and Reserve; their families, civilians, and Soldiers for life – retirees and veterans,” McConville said. “We win through our people, and people will drive success in our Readiness, Modernization and Reform priorities. We must take care of our people.”

    First Army Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Thomas S. James Jr., is supporting McConville’s "People First" strategy in part by establishing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force. The DEI strategy will help to acquire, develop, employ, and retain the diversity of Soldier and civilian talent needed to achieve Total Force readiness.

    “The purpose of First Army’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force is to serve as a panel of diverse leaders who will collaborate, implement and advise on strategic initiatives, effectively promote diversity and inclusion across the command, review and recommend policy or procedural changes, and advise leadership on DEI related issues and training,” said Ron Coney, chief of the DEI Task Force. “The Task Force will advocate for those needed changes related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in order to build trust that is inclusive, fair, and equitable across the workforce in accordance with the Army’s people strategy.”

    The DEI Task Force will be aggressive in identifying and removing barriers to an inclusive and diverse force while ensuring the equitable treatment of every Soldier, civilian and family member. They plan to accomplish this through establishing a charter, identifying training for employees and managers, starting a diverse intern and mentor program, and recognizing supporters of the DEI program.

    First, the DEI Task Force will establish a charter, something Coney said will codify the mission, method, and goals of the task force. DEI Task Force members understand they must develop a strategy that communicates to all members of First Army that every person is essential to the Army’s mission. Differing attributes, experiences, cultures, characteristics, backgrounds and talents are force multipliers. Diversity encompasses culture, gender, sexual orientation, sex, ethnicity, race, color, religious beliefs, diversity of thought, skills and abilities, marital status, language, education, experience, veteran’s status, beliefs, gender identity, nation of origin and disabilities. Equity is the commitment to identify and allocate resources and opportunities needed to ensure fair treatment for all. Inclusion is fostering respect and a team spirit in the workplace, embracing and leveraging the multicultural essence of an organization, and providing equal opportunities to capable individuals.

    To fulfill the training requirement, the DEI Task Force proposes two virtual classes for employees. The first will follow a day in the life of an Army officer as he deals with issues of cultural diversity and sensitivity. The lesson also reviews policies on sexual harassment and sexual harassment complaint procedures. This interactive experience will increase employee knowledge and awareness about attitudes, behaviors, norms, and values that can facilitate or block the development of authentic, supportive, and productive relations with coworkers and customers.

    Under the task force’s plan, managers will also undergo training. The manager training provides an overview of cultural competence, diversity, and diversity management and discusses the need for cultural competence.

    In addition to establishing a charter and training program, the Task Force also plans to initiate an internship program. The Task Force will partner with Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island Arsenal, and the Department of Labor Disability Program via U.S. Army Forces Command to create the internship programs. The partnership program will also provide an opportunity for First Army to build and cultivate relationships between First Army organizations and students in underserved and underprivileged institutions, colleges and universities and people with disabilities. The Task Force also plans to establish an internal mentorship program for First Army.

    “Intern recruitment exposure to the federal government contributes to the competitiveness and ability to access careers in the federal government and contributes to creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce,” Coney said.

    The task force plans to recognize First Army’s successful DEI efforts at every possible opportunity.

    “We also want to recognize our interns and mentor/mentee of the year for First Army,” Coney said. “We can do this at hail and farewells by incorporating them into the process for initial recognition and honor their contribution with an award or certificate at the end of the internship. We will also recognize mentors and mentees for their participation and contributions to the mentorship program.”

    The Army people strategy describes how the Army will shift from simply “distributing personnel” to more deliberately managing the talents of our Soldiers and civilians. This means creating a 21st century talent management system with policies, programs, and processes that recognize and capitalize on the unique knowledge, skills, and behaviors possessed by every member of the team, allowing the Army to employ each to maximum effect.



    Date Taken: 05.10.2021
    Date Posted: 05.10.2021 11:30
    Story ID: 396006
    Location: US

    Web Views: 260
    Downloads: 0