Equal opportunity staffs merge to form one office

  • Published
  • By Amanda Creel
  • 78 ABW/PA
The Military Equal Opportunity and the Equal Employment Opportunity offices have joined together to create the Equal Opportunity Office combining their services to more efficiently serve the needs of the Robins community. 

By combining the three military positions and the eight civilian positions and aligning them all under the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, the staff expects their services to be enhanced.

The new EO office mission is to eliminate unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment against military personnel, civilian personnel, and former employees, applicants for employment, active-duty family members, active-duty retirees and in certain circumstances contract employees of race, color, national origin, religion, or sex.

For non-military employees, there are additional categories where discrimination complaints can be filed, including age for persons 40 and over, disability, or in retaliation for having participated in activity protected by various civil rights statutes.

The staff agreed the changes will be transparent to the customer because the processes and procedures will remain the same.

"We just want the population to know we are one," said Marilyn Gantt, Equal Opportunity director. 

One change clients of the office might notice is the person they meet with might wear a different hat than them. For example, a civilian might meet with an active-duty EO specialist or vice versa.

To prepare for the joining of the two missions, the specialists from both career fields began training in the other specialty last summer. The training allowed the offices employees to become an Equal Opportunity specialist rather than a Military Equal Opportunity Specialist or an Equal Employment Opportunity specialist.

One of the advantages to the merger here is that the two missions were already collocated and the employees already have relationship making the integration run smoother, said Master Sgt. Carolyn Magsby, EO superintendent.

"It's a smart move. We are doing more with less," she added.

Though the integration officially began in early March, the office will continue to change as the other stages of the integration are implemented.

The office will be offering guidance about future changes as the information becomes available.

The integration is reflective of the total force of civilian and military Airmen, said Capt. Patrick Lee, EO deputy director.

"Having one office to serve our total force makes sense," he said.

One of the advantages of the integration is that when military members deploy, their civilian counterparts are able to serve the needs of the military personnel on base.

"It relieves the concern of a shortage of manpower at the home station because of the need in the area of responsibility," Captain Lee said.

Along with providing case management for equal employment issues, the office is also responsible for doing unit climate assessments for both military and civilian personnel, which includes conducting a survey on individuals' job environment.

Another way the office attempts to get an accurate picture of the work environment on the base is by conducting out and abouts where the EO specialists visit units or offices on to talk to base personnel.

The office also conducts inquires for incidents where sexual harassment and discrimination are involved and evaluates the possible affects the incident can have on the local or base community.