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Welcome to the Human Resource Advisor page.

The HRA's role is to advise command leadership on issues leading to the enhancement of the organization's culture; promoting opportunities for all ANG members to maximize their individual potential for success without regard to their cultural differences and for working with key individuals in the HR process to achieve diversity management objectives within the organization.
Generational Communications Gap

by Chief Master Sgt. Jorge Mustafa

I recently read a very interesting article that focused on a possible motive for many of the major challenges we're facing today. Chaotic examples of disruptive scenarios were shared from the area of politics, sports, the economy, today's workplace, entertainment, employment, health care concerns, immigration, education, war, and family structure to name a few. It suddenly became quite apparent that there's a growing communication problem within our society today, and it's impacting just about everything we do.

The importance of good communication skills has long been acknowledged as a necessary skill for anyone striving for success. Our society has recognized, taught, debated and focused on this skill set for as long as I can remember. Then why the sudden epidemic leading to chaos in so many situations? The author suggested that it might be more than just communication skills. He suggests that it might very well be based on more of a "generational" clash than on a lack of communication skills. True, the ability to converse with one another is critical today more than ever as global cultures clash, technology advances at a tremendous speed, and the world becomes "flatter" by the minute. However, is our lack of ability to converse successfully a result of declining communication skills or simply a more vivid example of our society existing of so many living generations who simply don't make the time or effort to understand one another? And yet we're forced to live and work together, making critical decisions impacting those around us who may very well have no idea as to what may have influenced our decision-making process.

To illustrate the generational point in communications gap, the following is a listing of recent generations for individuals born in the United States. Dates are approximate, as recognized by demographers. As you review the list, try to visualize someone you may know from each of the generations.

2001-Present -Generation Z also called Generation I (Internet)
1982-2000 - Millennials or Generation Y
1965-1981 - Generation X
1946-1964 - Baby Boomers
1925-1945 - "The Greatest Generation" or Silent Generation

As you review the list of those you visualized, think about the many vast differences in each generation. Consider their childhoods, parents, education, technology, politics, religious influences, work ethics, global exposure, etc. Obviously, there are tremendous differences in each generation, and yet today we're forced to interact in a number of various scenarios. For instance, my grandchildren were exposed to computer operation and speaking English (in Puerto Rico) in kindergarten. At that same age, I majored in sliding my nap rug across the classroom floor on my stomach, and the highlight of my day was devouring graham crackers and milk every afternoon!

As I reflect on the article that I mentioned, maybe this author has struck a critical chord that demands closer scrutiny. As a society, we've acknowledged generation gaps, written books about them extensively and even discuss them in the classroom. However, have we really taken these studies seriously and made an effort to understand how we differ in so many ways from one generation to the next? Do we seriously realize the negative consequences that might result if these gaps continue to widen? If, after reading the following information, you realize the need to broaden your perspective on this critical issue, I implore you to seek out the numerous studies and books available on the subject.

Just in case you weren't feeling old enough today...read this. Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year's incoming freshman. Here are a few points they list that define Gen Y or Millennials and may help us to understand where they are coming from. This generation has probably never "rolled down" a car window. They have grown up with bottled water. Most of them have never know what it is like not to have a computer that is connected to the internet readily available in their homes. Cell phones have always been there since they were born. For them, Rap music has always been mainstream. Wal-Mart has always been a larger retailer than Sears and has always employed more workers than GM. Stadiums, Rock-n-Roll tours and sporting events have always had corporate names. The space program has never really caught their attention except in disasters. The World Wide Web has been an information source since they were born. They have never known a world with the Berlin Wall.

It's a wonder we can even speak to each other. More importantly, it's a wonder we can really understand one another even half the time. Many times we just don't "get" one another. It is important to remember that no one generation is more correct or incorrect than another. They're all just enormously different from one another.

So what conclusion can we come to as a result of study and reflection on these generational gaps? Take time to really understand where the other generation is coming from. What is important to them in their daily lives and what values to they place importance in? By embracing the differences we all bring to our our units, we can build a high performing team of diverse individuals who can solve difficult problems by approaching them from different angles. We can effectively utilize the unique talents we all bring to meet the challenges we face today while ensuring all members feel valued and engaged.
Integrity: The Glue of Personal Development

by Chief Master Sgt. Jorge Mustafa

Let's find out how integrity holds the pieces of your life together. There are many telltale signs of how integrity makes life work. With integrity, your life has flow and is obstacle-free, allowing goals to be achieved more effectively and efficiently. Without integrity, your life has holes in it that leak your personal energy, leaving you drained and tired in an obstacle course of unfinished business.

Like structural engineering, personal integrity is the analysis and design of your own structure (your own truth). Similar to the supports that hold and maintain a building from collapsing, your truths (or non-truths) are the tiny details of your life that determine your structural completeness. Without integrity, your whole life can fall apart and come crashing down; however, with high personal integrity, you can withstand anything.

Personal development training teaches us that integrity is about completeness. It is about finishing what you start, such as your goals. When you can see something through to its conclusion, you will advance your integrity into another level of truth. The more truth you have in your life, the more strength and support you have for your personal goals. However, be careful of introducing lies into your life because once rooted in your mind, they will form structural cracks in your integrity. Low personal integrity is a result of living a lie and being dishonest with yourself and others. Once you allow that pattern of lying to take up residence in your mind, your life begins to quickly fall apart. The only way to keep everything glued together is to maintain integrity by living in your personal truth(s).

Whenever you lie to yourself, you perpetuate the cycle of mistrust between you and your subconscious mind. You cannot hide what you think and feel from yourself. It's difficult if not impossible to build the life of your dreams when in your subconscious mind you know yourself to be a liar and someone who cannot be trusted. Inevitably, by lying to yourself you end up lying to the world. Now, no one else will trust you either. If you want to reverse the negative effects of low personal integrity, you need to learn how to recognize the lies of your life. They come in many forms and oftentimes seem rather harmless. Despite their innocuous appearance, these subtle lies are incredibly detrimental to your goals and the quality of life you want, as well as your integrity. Catching them as early as possible will alleviate their devastating effects.

As you can see, the truth behind the lie creates a misalignment between what you do and what you say. This contradiction is what makes some people stay broke or overweight when clearly they'd like to have more money or be in better shape. In other instances, some people may decide to stay in a relationship or job they don't want despite the fact they clearly want something else. The worst lies are the ones you tell yourself.

So, if you want a life that works for you and has flow, then keep your personal integrity intact. After all, integrity is the glue of your personal development.
We are a force of men and women who are serving at the highest personnel tempo in our history, and that will continue for the foreseeable future. Our charge and challenge is to sustain our momentum and create an environment where the cultural challenges we face can be openly discussed. Through discussion and be welcoming diversity in our units, our people can develop the cultural competence to face the challenges of worldwide deployments.

To be the most capable force, our Airmen must be comprised of men and women with international insight, foreign language proficiency and wide-ranging cultural experiences. The talents, experiences and insights of all Airmen must be recognized and tapped to ensure prepared, forward-leaning force of the highest caliber.

Our heritage is unit-based in local communities. ANG units should reflect the diversity of those communities. Human Resource Advisors (HRAs) are assigned to every unit to aid in advancing diversity and changing organizational culture.

I believe we are ready for the next step in our cultural transformation and look forward to working with each of you as we create an Air National Guard equipped to face the global and cultural challenges of the 21st century.

Gen Craig McKinley
Chief of the National Guard Bureau