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Air Force leaders release Diversity Strategic Roadmap

WASHINGTON -- Striving to remain a leading competitor in the search for talent to carry out the Air Force mission, the service's senior leaders released the Diversity Strategic Roadmap here Nov 17.

In a collaborative effort, members of the Air Force Diversity Operations Division authored the living document's priorities to "institutionalize diversity throughout the Air Force and allow the service to attract, recruit, develop and retain a high quality, talented total force." It is designed to take a sweeping approach in leveraging the spectrum of talent and perspectives of its members, Air Force officials said.

"Across the service, we represent a broad range of diverse missions, family situations, ethnicities, faiths, races and educational backgrounds," said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. "Yet, together, this rich tapestry forms the world's finest Air Force, drawn from the best talent that America has to offer."

Senior leaders validated the Air Force Diversity Strategic Roadmap during a diversity senior working group session Oct. 17 and 18, and reaffirmed their collective commitment to diversity.

"Diversity is a strategic imperative for our nation, and something that we must pursue together," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. "Our commander-in-chief has rightly sounded the clarion call for service and sacrifice-in or out of uniform."

Officials in the Headquarters Air Force manpower and personnel directorate are charged with assisting the Air Force-at-large in execution of the roadmap's priorities, which identify actions and measures to enhance the diversity of the service, said Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel.

General Newton said the Air Force leaders will measure the service's diversity successes and track progress.

"We hope to foster an environment in which every individual's contribution is valued and respected and we can capitalize on the uniqueness of each Airman to enhance organizational effectiveness and readiness.

"While commanders at all levels have a leadership role in advancing these priorities, goals and actions, every Airman is a participant and shares responsibility for ensuring the talents and capabilities of each individual are recognized, valued and used towards enhancing mission accomplishment," General Newton said. "Diversity allows everyone -- active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilians -- to reach his or her potential and provide their capabilities to the Air Force and to the joint team."