The Vermont National Guard’s equal employment manager conducted an overview of the Air Force Inspector General’s 150-page Independent Racial Disparity Report in the Vermont Joint Diversity Executive Council’s semiannual newsletter, released Feb. 2.
Duffy Jamieson reports that the report’s findings “reveal a troubling perspective” but also hopes that the Air Force’s commitment will lead to change.
The report, which reviews military justice data, career development and opportunity data, and Air Force instructions and publications, was released in December 2020 on direction from Air Force senior leaders, who ordered the report shortly after Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd in May 2020.
"We're analyzing root causes and taking appropriate actions to address these challenges," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr. said in a statement accompanying the report. "Now we must all move forward with meaningful, lasting, and sustainable change."
Jamieson writes that the findings indicate Black Airmen are:
With respect to retention, the report found no consistent disparity based on race, Jamieson writes. There were more separations at five to 15 years of service, but fewer separations with 16 to 20 years of service.
“The report made a point to state that while the review found racial disparity, that does not necessarily mean racial bias or racism is present,” Jamieson writes. “The review focused on the existence of disparity, not the cause.”
However, as Jamieson notes, six additional statistics stood out from the report’s findings:
The Air Force Inspector General is due to conduct a progress report within six months, followed by an annual review, Jamieson writes. Both assessments will be publicly released.
Click here to view the February 2021 JDEC Newsletter.