Black and Blue: Explaining the Continuing Gap in Career Progression for African-American Air Force Officers and Its Implications on Culture and Diversity
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES
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Since 2009, the Department of Defense has had a marked focus on diversity. Some have speculated that the election of the first African-American President in 2008 is the catalyst for the focus. Others have opined that this focus was inevitable due to shifting demographics in America. Diversity is a military necessity is the catch phrase that has been echoed by the Air Force in response to this push. Both the Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force have taken steps to increase a focus on diversity within the service and increased the awareness of all Airmen with respect to diversity issues. The establishment of the Global Diversity Division under the HQ USAFA1 directorate evidences the importance of diversity. Since 2009, the Air Force has produced a number of strategic governance documents aimed at increasing diversity a strategic roadmap, an Air Force policy directive, and an Air Force Instruction on diversity. Despite these initial steps and efforts on diversity, current data still reveals an alarming lack of career progression for minority US Air Force officers, particularly African-Americans. Why is that phenomenon still prevalent even after a conscious push from Air Force leaders This study comprises an examination of the issues and possible reasons for the systematic career progression gap.
- Sociology and Law
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations