U.S. Air Force Release Findings of an Inspector General’s Independent Review into Racial Disparity

By  //  December 23, 2020

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Secretary of the Air Force ordered the review on June 2

The Department of the Air Force released its report on the findings of an Air Force Inspector General independent review into racial disparity on Dec. 21. (U.S. Air Force image)

(U.S. AIR FORCE) – The Department of the Air Force released its report on the findings of an Air Force Inspector General independent review into racial disparity on Dec. 21. 

The Secretary of the Air Force and the Air and Space Forces service chiefs ordered the review on June 2.

The measure formalized a step that former Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein raised in an official note to commanders and other senior leaders on June 1 addressing an “apparent inequity in our application of military justice” among other issues.

He stated, “We will not shy away from this; as leaders and as Airmen, we will own our part, and confront it head-on.”

Subsequently, in an open letter on June 3 to all Airmen and Space Professionals signed by the Air Force Secretary and the two service chiefs, the leadership team highlighted the Department’s self-initiated review and wrote, “We are listening, and we are taking action.”

The IG review focused specifically on assessing racial disparity in military discipline processes and personnel development and career opportunities as they pertain to Black/African American Airmen and Space Professionals. (U.S. Air Force image)

The IG review focused specifically on assessing racial disparity in military discipline processes and personnel development and career opportunities as they pertain to Black/African American Airmen and Space Professionals.

According to Air Force IG officials, the narrow focus related to Black/African American Airmen and Space Professionals was necessary to enable a prompt yet thorough assessment, but the subsequent efforts to be undertaken as a result of the review will not be exclusive to a single minority group.

“Although the release of this report took longer than we originally planned, we’re confident that the lessons we will learn and the plans in development to further examine disparities will provide benefit to all of our Airmen and Space Professionals,” said Lt. Gen. Sami Said, Air Force Inspector General.

Additionally, Said explained that it is important to underscore that the review was focused on assessing racial disparity within the Department of the Air Force and was not chartered to determine whether or not racial bias or discrimination is present.

Such an examination would require a much deeper study and a broader look at American society in general, which was outside the defined scope of the review, according to Said.

The IG review also did not focus on root cause analyses for any racial disparities found during the review due to the considerable time this would have added to complete the report.

Instead, the intent was that root cause analyses would follow the completion of the review, as necessary.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

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