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    Tennessee National Guard Creates New Diversity Council

    Tennessee National Guard Creates New Diversity Council

    Photo By William Jones | “The American military is already made up of people from all walks of life and we...... read more read more



    Story by William Jones  

    Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity are critical elements for success in the military. These elements are “combat multipliers,” and enhance lethality and mission success. To ensure that it maintained its effectiveness, the Tennessee National Guard established the Joint Diversity Executive Council, or JDEC, in 2019.

    In a statewide memo about the JDEC, Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General at the time wrote, “Success is defined as a Tennessee Military Department that recognizes and capitalizes on all of the unique talents possessed by every member of the team and we derive strength from the cultures, perspectives, skills and other qualities of our personnel.”

    For the last few years, Tennessee’s JDEC has served as a forum for senior leaders and stakeholders to collaborate on inclusion and diversity initiatives, assign resources, develop policy, analyze trends, and assist in holding leaders accountable to meet inclusion and diversity goals and objectives.

    “The council is a great step forward to building a more diverse and effective force in Tennessee,” said Andrea Adcox, Tennessee National Guard Equal Employment Manager, and program manager. “We are making progress in various aspects of our organization.”

    One of the initiatives of the JDEC is to develop a mentorship program for Soldiers and Airmen of diverse backgrounds.

    “The goal of the Mentorship Committee is to develop and mentor all Tennessee National Guard members both professionally and personally,” said Lt. Col. Meredith Richardson, JDEC committee member. “We will be launching a formal and voluntary mentorship program in the near future. The program is inclusive to all ranks, genders, and races.”

    “The senior leadership really wants to focus on promoting diversity in the ranks through mentorship,” said Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin Williams, State Command Chief for the Tennessee Air National Guard, and council member. “As a supervisor or a leader, you are a mentor to the Soldiers and Airmen you supervise, and promoting diversity is a key part of that relationship.”
    According to Tennessee’s senior military leaders, diverse units and teams are more effective in today's complex warfighting environment.

    “The American military is already made up of people from all walks of life and we will increasingly recruit from all segments of our population,” said Williams. “The strength of our all-volunteer force depends significantly on a diverse team, the resilience of these members, and the well-being of our military families.”

    Another goal of the JDEC is to ensure equal advancement within the ranks.

    “Equal Opportunity is important because it creates and sustains a comprehensive effort to maximize human potential and ensure fair treatment for all service members based solely on merit, fitness, and capability,” said Adcox. “A positive human relations climate is essential for success and improves mission readiness.”

    This can also be done by embracing commonalities with everyone who wears the uniform. According to Col. Mark Phillips, Tennessee’s State Chaplain, “The service member’s spirit is a foundational requisite for mission readiness; thus, the universal interconnectedness of human spirituality helps form a unique and inclusive commonality within our ranks.”

    Recognizing the need to have different points of view, experiences, and backgrounds throughout the Tennessee National Guard improves the strength and quality of life for every member, and is the main goal of the JDEC.



    Date Taken: 02.27.2023
    Date Posted: 02.27.2023 10:02
    Story ID: 439250
    Location: NASHVILLE, TN, US 

    Web Views: 138
    Downloads: 1