EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
In line with the Department of Defense’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility strategic plan, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, officially stood up its own DEIA program at the beginning of the year.
As its chief, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Marlon Woodson will lead initiatives promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion by standing up a council of motivated volunteers, educating and training leaders on DEIA concerns, and analyzing and removing unnecessary barriers that hamper the mission.
“The DEIA program's priority is to work hand-in-hand with the populace to positively impact readiness, lethality, and the speed of decisions through diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts,” said Woodson.
In its strategic plan, the Department of Defense has identified specific DEIA goals:
Diversity- Advance the global capability of DoD to deter war and secure the nation through effective talent management.
Diversity- Enhance DoD’s DEIA efforts and accountability and foster enduring resiliency through cross-cutting, collaborative, and standardized approaches and policies.
Equity- Champion, authentically promote, and maintain an equitable environment within DoD that fosters fair, just, and equal opportunities for all, to include underserved populations within DoD and in the surrounding communities.
Inclusion- Promote organizational initiatives and expand mechanisms to better understand and meet the needs of the internal DoD workforce.
Accessibility- Foster a DoD-wide culture and spirit of accessibility and intersectionality for individuals with disabilities, including disabled veterans.
The council currently has seven members and more are welcome to join. For the meantime, Woodson and his team have prepared several activities to promote and execute the DEIA mission on Eielson.
“We're going to accomplish the diversity and inclusion mission on Eielson by exploring and engaging in opportunities to improve organization culture and trust through training and education,” said Woodson. “Airmen can look forward to the DEIA program offering a series of training programs, workshops, and briefings designed to inform and inspire ways to remove unnecessary barriers to mission accomplishment and create more inclusive workplace cultures.”
Woodson believes he is a good fit to stand up the DEIA program due to his years of experience as an Electrical and Environmental Systems specialist.
“Being successful in that job was all about bringing together different perspectives from diverse teams to solve complex problems and provide safe, reliable aircraft,” said Woodson. “I see this position the same way, but it has the potential to make a much more significant impact on the Wing's mission.”