AFRC's chief diversity officer visits HQ ARPC, facilitates 'difficult discussions'
By By Master Sgt. Leisa Grant
/ Published July 31, 2020
Officer, enlisted, and civilian leaders assigned to Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, participated in Diversity & Inclusion Awareness training as well as guided discussions about race relations here July 28th.
The Air Force Reserve Command’s Diversity and Inclusion officer, G. Lee Floyd, facilitated the trainings and discussions specifically for HQ ARPC personnel in addition to observing the Command E-8/E-9 development team board panel.
“My purpose for visiting ARPC is two-fold,” said Floyd. “First and foremost is to observe and understand the selection process for participation on the Command E-8/E-9 DT board panel. The reason for this is that AFRC is committed to ensuring D&I is embedded into the fiber of every aspect of everything we do. DT’s are an extremely important part of that initiative.”
In response to current events, including the social unrest taking place across the country, Floyd said Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, Chief of the Air Force Reserve, directed that all of his Reserve leaders be trained in diversity and inclusion. This has resulted in about 45 training sessions across the command in June and July alone.
“There is a dire need for us to have crucial conversations, difficult discussions,” said Floyd, adding that’s why he was asked to lead these meetings at ARPC.
When leadership here learned that Floyd would be here for the DT board panel, Chief Master Sgt. Billie Baber, HQ ARPC Command Chief, knew it would be a good time to get her team members into these discussions.
“I think it is vitally important that our leaders are making themselves a part of the conversation,” said Baber. “I asked Mr. Floyd to make them as uncomfortable as possible, because moving forward we need to be committed and comfortable with talking about race and diversity, so we can take care of all our Airmen the best way we can.”
Baber added that she has personally received positive feedback from the sessions.
“Our folks want to help, but sometimes they just don’t know where to start,” she said. “Mr. Floyd provided a starting point; now it is up to us, as leaders, to keep it going.”
Floyd retired from the Air Force in 2003 after 20 years of dedicated service. He now serves as the Command’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, a position he has held since 2018.