SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
If a problem arises, Schriever Airmen can go to the 50th Space Wing’s Equal Opportunity office to discuss issues, get guidance and find solutions.
“Our purpose is to educate the base populace on what their rights are, as well as to inform them of their responsibilities when it comes to EO issues,” said Tech. Sgt. Shalicia Wright, wing EO NCO in charge. “We let them know what their protected categories are, which include race, color, sex, sexual orientation and religion.”
The two-person EO office provides mentorship sessions, office visits, human relations education classes, Right Start briefings, commander’s calls and climate surveys.
“Part of this job is to do reality testing, ask questions and have members take a step back to view situations with an objective lens,” said Edward Vaughn, 50 SW EO director. “When it is happening to you, it can be difficult to do that. Part of what we do is ask more questions, work with members to develop strategies and address concerns. Many times, if it is not in our lane, we escort members to other helping agencies which are better suited for their concerns. We want to make sure they get the attention they need.”
The EO personnel stated any unlawful discrimination is reason enough to pay a visit to their office. There are two different types of complaints that Airmen can file, formal and informal.
An informal complaint includes the complainant electing someone in the chain of command to investigate unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment. For this process, there is no time constraint.
A formal complaint is where the member elects for an EO staff member to look into the matter.
Military members have 60 duty days from the alleged incident to file a complaint.
The EO office has observed communication continues to be an issue in the workplace.
“Communication is key to everything that we do,” Vaughn said. “Generally, people want the truth. Many times, we see conflict because people don’t take that extra step to find out reasons why. I believe supervisors and managers should ensure communication happens with members and discuss performance, standards and any issues with them. That is when we see major differences in the work environment.”
The EO office makes it its mission to get members the help they need in order to return to the workplace mission focused.
“Anytime I get to impact somebody’s life in a positive way, it’s a good feeling to know this office contributed to the wing,” Vaughn said. “It’s worthwhile when we see an Airman who initially doesn’t know what to do become empowered after helping them find resolutions. If that’s the difference between someone staying in or getting out of the military, it’s worth it to me and it is very fulfilling. All we want is to help others and get them in the right direction.”
For more information or to seek help, members can by visit their office in Building 210, Room 271 or call 567-5310.