The traditional motto of the United States- E Pluribus Unum – Latin for “Out of many, one,” is something that comes to the mind of Ronald Turner when asked about diversity and inclusion.
Turner, a Human Resources specialist in Air Force Test Center’s Personnel Programs Division, leads the AFTC Diversity and Inclusion four-person team.
Turner partnered with representatives from Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold AFB, Tenn., 412th Test Wing, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and the 96th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla., to focus on the culture of diversity and inclusion across the three main locations of the test enterprise.
The council created an internal newsletter last month titled, “What Do You Mean?” and aims to continue the dialogue on diversity and inclusion within the AFTC workforce, informing employees on the meaning, history and resources available across the 34 geographically-diverse locations of AFTC.
“Diversity and Inclusion does not mean forced numerical goals or quotas. It doesn’t mean just race, or sex, or what country a person came from like many people assume. It doesn’t mean equality of outcome,” said Turner, a 26- year Air Force veteran. “The diversity and inclusion definitions are as varied as the many people you would meet all over the world.”
AFTC’s Diversity and Inclusion Council headed by Turner aims to help meet the broader Air Force diversity and inclusion mission to attract, recruit, develop and retain a high-quality and diverse Total Force, ensuring a culture of inclusion in order to leverage the diversity of the nation for strategic advantage in Air Force, joint and coalition operations.
“It will take a lot of work but it is apparent that senior leadership is committed to long-term solutions and not just quick fixes,” said Turner.
This commitment is actualized by senior leaders like General Arnold Bunch, Air Force Materiel Command commander, who stood up an Accountability Task Force comprised of a diverse cross-section of the command which examined accountability issues in the areas of process, education and training, and communication.
“Building inclusive teams, facilitating difficult conversations within the workforce, articulating the benefits of becoming a more diverse organization and implementing best practices that promote a positive workplace culture will help get AFMC where we need to be,” he said in a AFMC diversity blog. “Our goal is simple: create an environment where every Airman feels accepted, valued and can achieve their full potential.”
Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano, AFTC commander, made the topic a priority by stressing the importance of self-examination in personal environments to enable the power of diversity within the AFTC workforce.
“Make a point each day to draw on our culture of mutual support—the culture that values every Airman and creates an environment where each of us can thrive, contribute, and reach our full potential,” Azzano said during a recent virtual town hall. “We can’t control everything outside our gates, but we can set a noble standard for America to emulate.”
For questions about DOD and Air Force diversity and inclusion training and resources, contact your local AFTC Diversity and Inclusion Council members:
AFTC Diversity and Inclusion Council lead – Ronald Turner, 661-277-7776
Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold AFB, Tenn. – Misty Layne, 931-340-7274
412th Test Wing, Edwards AFB, Calif. – Shona Wood, 661-860-9587
96th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla. – Cecil Williams, 850-872-5529