By Buddy Blouin
Doing things the same way simply because “that’s always how it’s been done” often does more harm than good. Sure, some things are tried and true and continue to be the best practice, but it’s always a good idea to reevaluate situations, assess processes, and go forth with the best course available. That's what's so exciting about the U.S. Coast Guard deciding to hire for the change agent position to advance its efforts in diversity and inclusion. These changes, stemming from the Diversity and Inclusion Education and Awareness Program (DIEAP) set forth by the USCG, are a great way to help provide an even playing field for input and opportunities for all who serve.

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What Is a Change Agent?

A change agent is someone who comes into an organization to help it fundamentally change. These can be smaller changes that are specific to a certain process or larger, overarching changes on an institutional level. The role of a change agent is to be the catalyst for change that's needed by the organization. This means you’ll be going up against resistance and leading the way to teach people new methods as well as holding them accountable. Even for a cause as good as this one, being an agent of change can put you in an awkward position. You’ll have to tell leaders what to do, ensure that protocols are followed, and deal with the inevitable members of your group that refuse any type of change. In this case, it means people who enjoy a world with bigotry. This is obviously a heavy point of contention in any situation. But overall, change agents that are up for this challenge are working on a very rewarding project that'll help the USCG today, tomorrow, and for years to come be the best that it can be.

Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

The USCG is a workplace, and having an agent of change focusing on better inclusion is a great step forward. While military service is hardly the time for a kumbaya session, those who serve are human and deserve to be treated with respect, devoid of backlash and discrimination. Change agents are helping ensure this is the case for USCG members by equipping leaders with the right tools and providing a proper atmosphere to consider all of its members equally.

Apply To Be a Change Agent Today

If you’d like to serve your country and do so while developing skills and implementing inclusion and diversity for your fellow Coast Guardsman, then you’re in luck. As the title would suggest, the USCG is looking for Coasties who wish to become a certified Diversity and Inclusion change agent. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (CG-127) is looking to grow its team who, after finishing the six-month DIEAP, will begin helping the branch improve in a number of ways. From there, you’ll begin helping the USCG complete its D&I goals. Your responsibilities will include group training sessions built to facilitate an area for change agents to help expand the minds of others on the topics of equality, diversity, and inclusion. This will mean exploring a number of topics, including privilege, oppression, identity, and intersectionality. You’ll also need to coach leaders on behaviors that help eliminate issues around these subjects while creating safe spaces for discussion on class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, and more. To apply, include your current duty station (unit name, city, and state). Anyone who is on active duty, reserve, auxiliary, or civilian can apply. All military applicants are required to have a minimum of 24 months remaining on their current enlistment or signed service agreement with the expectation to remain with their current unit for a minimum of 12 months. Should you be selected to become a change agent, you’ll be notified by the USCG no later than 10/30/2022. Best of luck to any and all who hear the call to help the Coast Guard in this noble endeavor.

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Change Agent
Diversity and Inclusion Education and Awareness Program

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