Mission first, people always: 445th EO stands behind their motto

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Santana Austin
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
"Mission first, people always" is the motto of the 445th Airlift Wing Equal Opportunity office. But what does that motto truly mean?

EO serves as the central point to receive formal and informal complaints about sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination and conducts compliant and incident clarifications on behalf of individuals or commanders. But there's much more to EO's list of duties.

Capt. Audric Bills, 445th AW Assistant Director, Equal Opportunity, said his and his staff's job is to make sure the workplace is free of any form of discrimination or harassment.

"In the Air Force, the mission is very important, but in order to complete any mission, you need people. A good working environment is important, especially for the productivity of the people working in it. No one enjoys working in an environment they feel uncomfortable being in," Bills said.

According to Bills, their mission is to enhance the wing's mission effectiveness by promoting an environment free from personal, social, or institutional barriers that prevent Air Force members from rising to the highest level of responsibility possible. To fulfill that mission, they conduct formal human relations education training; provide counseling, information, referrals and other assistance to members.

"Not too many people know all of what we do in the EO office," said Bills. "Receiving complaints about discrimination is just one of the things we do."

Bills went on to say his staff conducts newcomer and key personnel briefings, acts as subject matter experts to the wing commander and staff, as well as commanders and supervisors at all levels for issues pertaining to human relations, unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment.

The captain said ultimately, their vision is to live and work in an environment where each individual is treated with infinite dignity and worth.

"The Air Force has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of harassment or discrimination. As part of our job, we will go to offices to ensure that there are no offensive items on the walls or on the desks," Bills said

"Our office is open throughout both unit training assemblies. If anyone has any problems within their offices involving harassment or discrimination, they can come see us [in building 4010]," Bills said.