NEWS | Oct. 7, 2020

TEAM aims to tackle equality issues within Air Force Recruiting Service

By Tech. Sgt. DeAndre Curtiss 369th Recruiting Group

Following Gen. David Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright’s open conversation on racial inequality and injustice June 1, the Air Force has taken action to tackle the issue of diversity and inclusion within our ranks.

Within Air Force Recruiting Service, initiatives such as Tackling Equality to Advance the Mission, or TEAM, have been implemented to get after these issues.

TEAM’s goal is to provide a platform for Airmen throughout AFRS to identify issues of inequality or bias in programs, policies, or procedures and present solutions for senior leadership action. The concept of TEAM was birthed from conversations that took place in the wake of the national unrest after the killing of George Floyd.

“This all started with a conversation,” said Tech. Sgt. Cameron Spencer, TEAM chairman. “Our leaders started sharing their stories and having those uncomfortable conversations about inequality and bias and I was asked to share my story, but I was at the point where I didn’t just want to tell stories, I wanted to come up solutions.”

Spencer’s sentiments were matched by others within AFRS and passionate conversations amongst peers quickly blossomed into an 11-member group Airmen who began organizing briefings with AFRS commanders, production superintendents and other leaders to generate awareness and to help flush out how TEAM will operate. After months of work-shopping the concept.

TEAM was given final approval by Maj. Gen. Thomas, AFRS commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Antonio Goldstrom, AFRS command chief.

“TEAM is the direct conduit to be heard, to bring your experiences and ideas to the forefront, and to cultivate and refine AFRS Total Force processes that may, or may not, represent everyone,” said Maj. Brian Murray, TEAM command liaison. “Positive change has to start with you because your collective experiences make this institution real.”

TEAM will operate on a quarterly schedule, which began Oct. 5. The breakdown of the process is as follows.

  • Weeks 1-2: submission window is open at https://s.surveyplanet.com/9RYqJIwe82
  • Week 3: analyze and collect data from submissions and provide feedback to submitters
  • Weeks 4-9: small collaborative groups comprised of TEAM members and volunteers will workshop the selected submissions to come up with solutions
  • Weeks 10-11: TEAM will prepare and deliver a quarterly report to AFRS senior leadership

“We want to help root out issues and come up with solutions that we can put in front of senior leadership so they can attack those issues,” Spencer said. “Our long-term goal is to create the evenest playing field that we can in AFRS. We don’t want anyone to feel like a bench player.”

For more information on TEAM, email AFRS.TEAM@us.af.mil or visit https://www.facebook.com/Team-AFRS-115860776914242/?epa=SEARCH_BOX