Department of Defense Equal Opportunity fights bullying and harassment

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Dillon Parker
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Department of Defense equal opportunity offices will accept military members’ complaints regarding non-discriminatory harassment starting Feb. 1, 2019, as a part of the DOD military harassment prevention and response program.


The program was put into place Feb. 8, 2018, and focuses on two forms of non-discriminatory harassment: bullying and hazing.


The definitions of the two are very similar, however, the purpose of the behavior is a simple way to separate them, said Robert Carman, 502nd Air Base Wing equal opportunity specialist.


“Bullying is defined as acts of aggression intended to physically or psychologically harm someone,” Carman said. “Hazing also inflicts physical or psychological harm, but it's done for the purpose of initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, change in status or position within, or a condition for continued membership in any DOD organization.”


These changes were implemented due to the potential for non-discriminatory harassment to greatly affect service members’ well-being and mission capability, Carman added.


While bullying and hazing can now be reported to equal opportunity, service members are still encouraged to handle these matters through the chain of command, said Staff Sgt. Latoya Wilson, 502nd ABW equal opportunity specialist.


“We want people to feel comfortable addressing these issues outside the chain of command if necessary,” Wilson said. “But handling matters through the chain of command will always provide the quickest resolution.”


For more information on DOD policy regarding harassment, consult DOD Instruction 1020.03 or call the 502nd ABW equal opportunity office at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland at 210-671-4284, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 210-221-7798 and JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-3749.