BIAS IN THE AIR FORCE AWARDS AND DECORATIONS PROGRAM
Stark, Patrick L.
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The purpose of this study is to analyze the level of implicit bias against women and minority active-duty members within the Air Force awards and decorations program. Data provided by the Defense Manpower Data Center is utilized in performing a statistical analysis of awards and decorations proffered to individuals by the Air Force from September 2006 to September 2020. The data includes twenty-three different awards for heroism and performance. The analysis compares active-duty Air Force members by rank and cross-references those individuals based on gender and race to analyze the disparity in number of awards proffered to females and non-Caucasian males compared to their male Caucasian counterparts. The analysis shows that Black officers and enlisted members received far fewer awards than expected, as did female and Asian officers. This study results in initial insights into implicit bias taking place specifically in the Air Force and recommendations for prevention and correction in the active-duty environment.
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