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Military Equal Opportunity Officer Shares Perspective on Diversity

Military member poses for a photo in front of the Military Equal Opportunity office sign.

Capt. Raymond Bibb, Director of Military Equal Opportunity, stands in front of his office door at the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio, Jan. 12, 2020. Bibb is advocating for strength in diversity throughout the unit. (Ohio Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan McDivitt)

MANSFIELD LAHM AIRPORT, Ohio --

Diversity strengthens the Ohio Air National Guard. Diversity can take many forms. Capt. Raymond Bibb, 179th Airlift Wing Director of Military Equal Opportunity, shares what diversity means to him and how he witnesses its effectiveness throughout the unit. From seasoned Chief Master Sergeants to Airmen fresh from basic, we all bring strengths to the unit through our unique perspectives and abilities.

“Diversity to me is not just different people coming together, it’s the diversity of mind, body and process.” Bibb said, “How we think, how we go through a situation and handle a problem. We all have different abilities, been through different things, and that’s what really makes us unique and diverse, our experiences.”

Bibb’s responsibility of maintaining a fair and objective work environment, balancing the needs of many different Airmen from many different backgrounds can be a challenging but necessary component of his mission.

Bibb expressed how hard Airmen work at the unit to fulfill their role in the bigger Air Force picture and the value of cohesion despite any differences.

The 179th Airmen come from all over Ohio, growing up in different cities and towns and representing the mindsets of three different generations. They share the commonality of needing to work together to make the wing a better place.

Bibb explained how our diversity comes from a balance of our experiences.

“It is a balance, we all walk that line of balance and holding it all together,” Bibb said, “So we can be successful in not only our military career but our home life, civilian career and education.”

It takes diverse Airmen working together to have a solid approach to diverse problems.

Air National Guardsmen receive a variety of technical training to fill the roles required for an installation to run in addition to formal college education or civilian professional development courses.

This highlights the value that every individual can bring to the team, as the 179th Airlift Wing doesn’t just benefit from its own foundation but the knowledge and wisdom associated with every institution the members have learned and grown from.

“Prime example, you see a newer generation teaching the older one something new on the computer bringing technological skills and perspectives that weren’t there before.” Bibb said, “It’s phenomenal how we can work together.”

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