U.S. ARMY GARRISON HUMPHREYS, South Korea – Eighth Army’s Equal Opportunity program has a new course to help ensure every Soldier treats one another with dignity and respect. The Equal Opportunity Ambassador Academy, available to junior-enlisted Soldiers, closes the knowledge gap between the less experienced and more seasoned Soldiers who are permitted to attend the Equal Opportunity Leaders Course.Established in 1969, the Army’s EO program serves at the forefront for the Army’s fight against discrimination of an individual based on their race, color, gender, sexual preference, religion, national origin and disability. Traditionally, the EOLC is available to Soldiers in the rank of sergeant through captain. This course provides leaders the tools to educate Soldiers as they progress throughout their military career.However, EO advisors recognized many junior-enlisted Soldiers were not fully aware of the facets that equal opportunity encompasses and the role it plays in the work environment.“We understood there was a link missing between the Soldiers and the EOLs,” said Sgt. 1st Class Elizandro Gonzales, the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade EO advisor.With this in mind, EOAs from across the Korean Peninsula came together to create an opportunity to educate and expand the program’s reach.“Their (junior-enlisted Soldiers) job is to be the eyes and ears for the Equal Opportunity leaders; not only for them but also for each other and their comrades,” said Sgt. 1st Class Alfred Guzman, USAG Humphreys EO advisor.The academy recently completed a year-long pilot phase of the training and the inaugural three-day class on January 27 marked the first time it was offered to junior-enlisted Soldiers across the peninsula. Upon graduation, the students earn a certificate of achievement.The EOAA course incorporates both slide lectures and group activities designed to capture students’ attention.“We have a lot of scenarios and a lot of activities because you can’t keep the Soldiers’ attention with just PowerPoints,” said Sgt. 1st Class Victor Turnipseed, senior EO advisor for Korea, Eighth Army, as he described a group activity in which Soldiers confront individual biases while solving a complex issue.These practical exercises simulate social imbalances and challenge the participants to consider alternate perspectives. In turn, a goal is to encourage open dialogue between Soldiers on topics that may come up in the workforce. In doing so, the course facilitators hope student Soldiers become more cognizant of the experiences of their counterparts and others.“The task at hand is understanding it’s more than having fair treatment and being respected,” Turnipseed explains. "Equal opportunity is so broad, it’s taking the time to truly understand where each Soldier is coming from.”