Roper said the guidance “reflects both the important diversity principle and practical necessity of leveraging our nation’s entire talent pool” to address long-term military competition.
The guidance requires acquisitions policy language in contracts that will define a minimum accommodation level and encourage companies to suit the widest possible range of statutes as a competitive edge.
As an interim measure, the guidance includes an attachment with eight anthropometric cases to be used as the basis for current compliance. The Air Force Lifecycle Management Center will conduct a new representative survey to supersede the interim guidance and previous studies. AFLCMC’s Airman’s Accommodations Laboratory is scheduled to embark on a three-year study beginning this fall with career enlisted aviators, who currently do not have an anthropometric-based standard.
“This study will finally provide the opportunity to create a stronger, more capable force, utilizing the strengths of a diverse team representative of our great nation,” said Chief Master Sgt. Chris Dawson, Air National Guard CEA career field manager.
The CEA anthropometric study will also provide the opportunity to re-accomplish studies for officer crew positions on the more than 30 CEA aircraft. CEAs make up nearly 35% of the Total Force aviator community and up until now have eliminated candidates based upon the 1967 standard.
Dawson and fellow Air Force Women’s Initiatives Team members, Lt. Col. Jessica Ruttenber and Maj. Andrea Harrington, along with Dr. Jennifer Whitestone of the Airman’s Accommodation Laboratory, were part of a team to elevate the matter to department leadership to initiate the new guidance.
“This policy is a great sign of forward progress and will be instrumental in changing the future,” said Lt. Col. Cathyrine Armandie, Air Education and Training Command chief of rated diversity. “It’s incredibly humbling to work with a team that is advancing opportunities for Airmen now and generations to come.”
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