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Retraining into Equal Opportunity for FY21

By Melinda Morris | 628th Air Base Wing Equal Opportunity Office | Sept. 9, 2020

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —

This is one of the most meaningful times to retrain into the equal opportunity field. The field has been instrumental in discussions regarding societal trends of racism, sexism and many other current hot topics, and will continue to be critical in the future as a sustained by-law program.

For service members interested in fairness, equality, human dignity and respect, the fiscal year 21 Retraining Advisory Listing on the myPers website showed the Equal Opportunity career field, AFSC “3F411,” has a total of 10 retraining quotas, five Tech. Sgt.’s and five Staff Sgt.’s, available for members to retrain into EO.

Equal Opportunity is an Air Force exclusive small “family.” While other military services begin to broaden enlisted careers as a Master Sergeant or above, the Air Force retrains members as soon as a member becomes a Staff Sergeant select, resulting in a whole new career trajectory. The Equal Opportunity career field requires personal characteristics of empathy, objectivity, flexibility, organization, time management, attention to detail and a personal commitment to promote equal opportunity for all Airmen within our scope of influence.

The skill sets and expertise gained translates directly to the civilian sector. As a personal testimony, I retrained into military Equal Opportunity in 2004. In 2008, I embraced the Air Force merger of MEO and equal employment office into the model equal opportunity program, able to take both military and civilian complaints. I retired from active duty in December 2019, and on July 20, 2020, I started my civilian career as the 628th Air Base Wing Equal Opportunity director and alternative dispute resolution manager at Joint Base Charleston.

Primarily, the 628th ABW Equal Opportunity office processes Department of Defense Air Force civilians, active duty military and their dependents, and retiree concerns of unlawful discrimination and harassment. The Equal Opportunity personnel also administer and analyze unit climate assessments, provide training and briefings, conduct unit and base out-and-abouts, advise leaders at all levels on human relations climate matters, and acts as a referral agency for issues outside of our scope.

Installation Equal Opportunity offices are cleared to begin 15 duty-day observation periods with retrainee candidates. The observation period can be a hybrid of face-to-face and virtual depending on the mission and calendar to ensure comprehensive selections. Due to the limited number, as a new requirement, at the conclusion of the 15 duty-day observation period, Major Command functional managers will conduct a systematic final interview or discussion with the retrainee candidate. With over 18 years of experience in the career field, MAJCOM and Air Force Personnel Center levels, a discussion with Chief Master Sgt. Tomeka Parker will be the final step.

The first step is to do an interview with the Equal Opportunity director, Melinda Morris. Please email melinda.morris.4@us.af.mil for any questions or concerns.