Security Assistance Enterprise must capitalize on differences
By Brig. Gen. DOUGLAS LOWREYNovember 23, 2020
Members of our U.S. Armed Forces come from all walks of life.Each of us—military members, Civilians and Family members—bring to the table very different experiences and backgrounds, unique cultures and perspectives, distinct ideas and beliefs.The diversity of race and color, gender and religion come together to make our Army a place where all Americans see themselves represented and know they have equal opportunity to succeed.And it’s no secret that a more diverse team is a smarter, stronger, more successful team. Researchers and scientists have proven that teams of individuals with different ethnic or cultural backgrounds produce a high-functioning mix of distinct cognitive approaches, and ultimately better results. Similarly, studies show that teams with diverse economic backgrounds, academic disciplines and political affiliations are better problem solvers and drivers of innovation.This diversity in our ranks gives the U.S. Army a strategic advantage unlike any other fighting force in the world. And this is especially true throughout the security assistance enterprise, where a diverse array of allies and partners are increasing regional stability around the globe, supporting combatant command strategies and increasing interoperability on the battlefield.While the U.S. military must be capable of fighting and winning on our own, we are stronger and more formidable when we can rely on partner nations to stage, support, maneuver, and execute the fight together.In order to continue growing as the best and most diverse Army in the world, I encourage each of you to embrace the diversity in our formations:Everyone in leadership must advance the Army’s diversity efforts, developing and maintaining an inclusive environment. Leaders must also practice honest self-assessment and challenge ourselves to bring out the best in each other.Everyone should accept that it’s okay to be different and have different opinions. This is a good thing. In fact, it should be encouraged. We must capitalize on our opposing viewpoints by considering one another’s perspectives, and come up with the best solutions to successfully execute the mission at hand.And finally, everyone should look at opportunities to celebrate diversity with new eyes. Whether it’s a military observance or a random occasion to learn about another culture, practice a mindful, non-judgmental approach. Try to see what you have never seen before.Make no mistake: Our future is bright. We remain the most capable and ready Army in the world. Let us not hinder our readiness nor hamper our success with small-mindedness and division.Together, we remain … Army Strong!