Equal Opportunity Soldier readiness counts on Army values

Spc. Leeanne McCoy
21st Theater Support Command

The 21st TSC Commanding General Maj. Gen. Bennie Williams pulled senior leaders from their usual commitments for a two-day intensive training course to emphasize how vital Equal Opportunity is to the unit’s mission July 29 and 30 at the Kaiserslautern Community Activity Center, Daenner Kaserne.
Equal Opportunity training emphasizes communication skills, awareness and education.
“It’s all about awareness, and learning about different cultures – just like when we have the ethnic observances,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joyce Chavers, 21st TSC EO NCO. “It’s learning about different types of people, different types of personalities and cultures, and finding out why we tick.”
“I’m viewing it from a standpoint of Soldier readiness. I’m viewing it from a standpoint of Army values. I’m viewing it from a standpoint of mission,” said General Williams. “So I need to ensure that my organization meshes together and that everybody understands Army values, which is a direct crosswalk into mission accomplishment in terms of Soldier readiness.”
Through combined seminars, practical exercises and videos, leaders learn how to work together with people from all races, genders and cultural backgrounds.
All of this training focuses on creating stronger bonds within the unit.
“The largest problem in Equal Opportunity is probably that many people don’t think that this is an issue that affects their organization,” said Maj. Jay Steinke, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Corporate Initiatives chief. “They don’t see the connection between team effectiveness, cohesion, readiness and ability to function on the battlefield. They see this somehow as a distraction to all the other things we’ve got going on.
“You can’t be an effective team if you can’t communicate value and understand the people working around you,” he said.
“The 21st TSC is a melting-pot that represents a cross-segment of our society,” said General Williams. “And with that in mind, we must all work together, live together and go to war together to ensure success.”