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Check yourself! Are you in compliance?

By Toby Housey | Director, 628th Air Base Wing Equal Opportunity office | Feb. 8, 2019

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —

Check yourself! Are you in compliance? 

It is a new day in the Air Force; at least as it relates to bullying and hazing harassment toward military personnel. Effective Feb. 1, 2019, the Air Force will implement its new harassment prevention and response policy. This policy was directed by the Department of Defense’s issuance of DOD Instruction 1020.03, Harassment Prevention and Response in the Armed Forces, dated Feb. 8, 2018. In essence, just as it always has, the Air Force believes that behaviors that distract from a positive human relations climate or cause physical or psychological harm to our personnel has no place in our service.

As we know better, the goal is that we will do better. 

Behaviors that you may have thought were acceptable in the past might not be today. As a military service, we are constantly striving for "Excellence in All We Do." Meeting that core value not only requires us to successfully get aircraft off the ground, but also to take care of the people who make sacrifices every day to make us the greatest Air Force in the world. In accomplishing that important task, we must maintain professional work spaces that allow all personnel to reach their greatest potential. People are our greatest asset and the Air Force charges us to treat each other with dignity and respect. Being treated so i[DCPJCUA6A1] s a right, not a privilege!

DOD defines bullying as a form of harassment that includes “acts of aggression by service members or DOD civilian employees, with a nexus to military service, with the intent of harming a service member either physically or psychologically, without a proper military or other governmental purpose.”

Additionally, hazing is defined as a form of harassment that includes “conduct through which service members or DOD employees cause, without a proper military or other governmental purpose, but with a nexus to military service, physically or psychologically injures or creates a risk of physical or psychological injury to service members for the purpose of: initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, change in status or position within, or a condition for continued membership in any military or DOD civilian organization.”

As leaders, co-workers and wingmen, we must ask ourselves if the treatment we extend to our subordinates or colleagues violates this new policy and if so, we must bring our conduct in compliance.

Military personnel who believe they have been subjected to bullying or hazing[DCPJCUA6A2]  harassment have the right to file a complaint with their chain of command or the servicing Equal Opportunity office. In most instances, you will obtain a more swift resolution utilizing the chain of command. However, in the event you believe you are not able to obtain resolution in that capacity, please contact your local EO office for assistance.

Civilian personnel who believe they have been subjected to bullying or hazing harassment also have the right to address those concerns through the chain of command, the negotiated/administrative grievance procedure (whichever is applicable), or the local Inspector General’s office.

For additional information on bullying or hazing harassment, please contact your local EO office.