FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Jan. 21, 2021) -- “What are your thoughts on racial equality in the Army?”“Do you believe you have the same promotion opportunities as others?”“How well is the Army, or your organization,  doing at putting people first?”Those were some of the questions Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians were posed at the “Your Voice Matters” (YVM) listening session Jan. 12, at Snow Hall here.The confidential 90-minute session solicited frank comments from audience members who did not identify themselves nor their units.It was one of several sessions here over two days.  And part of the Armywide YVM initiative that began in October to hear individuals’ stories, experiences, and ideas to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.Two facilitators at Army Headquarters led the virtual session with voluntary participants viewing at Reimer Conference Center, along with others dialing in.The candid views, thoughts, and opinions expressed were solely for the purpose of becoming a better Army, a better organization, and a workplace of choice, said a facilitator. The goal of YVM was to listen and understand others without judgment, and to be understood, he added.The session began with brief video messages from Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy; Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville; and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston.Ryan said the country is engaged in a passionate national conversation about race and inclusion.“I know that race is a difficult thing to discuss in the workplace, but it’s crucial that we have a respectful and candid dialogue with our colleagues,” said McCarthy. The Army wants every Soldier and civilian to be able to advance as far as their talent, character, and determination take him or her.McConville said the three greatest threats to the Army are sexual harassment and assaults, suicides, and racism and extremism. Winning matters and where people are concerned that means building cohesive teams in which everyone feels included, and is treated with dignity and respect.The facilitators asked few questions, and spent most of their time listening. They also wanted to know how things were here and sought views on: “How well does Fort Sill provide access to support services, i.e., chaplains, behavioral health?” and “Have you experienced anything outside the post gates that you feel senior leadership should be aware of?”The points of view gathered from the sessions here will be compiled and presented to Maj. Gen. Ken Kamper, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, said a facilitator. Those concerns about Army policies and procedures will be given to McConville for possible revisions.