Diversity In The Air Force

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. The purpose of this paper is to state that the United States Air force should recruit more African American officers. Diversity must be a priority. The Air force can increase the quantity of African American officers by focusing on 3 solutions: encouraging minority officers to mentor minority enlisted personnel, ensuring awareness of education opportunities amongst enlisted personnel, and targeting the civilian population.
2. The problem is that the amount of minority officers in the Air Force is grossly disproportioned. On July 26, 1946, 1 year before the official establishment of the Air Force, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order No. 9981, desegregating all military branches.1 Seventy years later, large disparities remain
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The first possible solution is mentorship; mentorship is a necessity. The shortage of black officers gives lower ranking minority personnel fewer mentors of their own race. The Air Force should invest in minority officer mentoring programs that will garner the attention of lower ranking personnel. In 2008, retired Gen. Johnnie E. Wilson expressed, “it's hard to tell young people the sky's the limit when they look up and don't see anyone who looks like them.”3 The relationship fostered between both parties will facilitate the career progression of enlisted personnel. The next solution is ensuring awareness of education opportunities amongst enlisted personnel. The prerequisite to earning a commission is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Enlisted Airman are automatically enrolled in the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), allowing them to earn an associate’s degree. However, a less popular program is the Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative, this program “directs Airmen with associate in applied science degrees from the CCAF to a collection of accredited military friendly colleges and universities to consider when completing a four-year degree.”4 Ensuring that all airmen are aware of this program will allow more minorities to take advantage of it and earn the credentials required for commissioning. Lastly, less than 1% of the American population is currently serving in the United States Air Force.4 Targeting colleges and universities, especially historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s), will allow direct communication between college educated minorities and recruiters.
4. The best solution to recruiting more minority officers is to ensure awareness of education opportunities amongst enlisted personnel. As Airman who are already familiar with military culture, their learning curve is less steep allowing them to acclimate to the Officer corps quicker and bring real-world military experience with them. Furthermore, the opportunity for mentorship

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