Army BAME conference proves inspirational

The Army Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network held its annual conference at the Tidworth Garrison Lecture Theatre today with the aim of improving awareness of the Network and BAME related opportunities, to enhance operational effectiveness and reinforce efforts to recruit, retain and progress BAME Service personnel.

Opening the conference, Army Race Champion Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch told the 400 plus attendees that he was personally committed to improving BAME representation in the Army. He said diverse organisations were ‘more productive and happier places to work’.

Diverse organisations more productive and happier places to work

Lt Gen Urch added: “We are committed to equality of opportunity, we pay the same regardless of gender and are a true meritocracy where an individual’s background, gender, religion or beliefs play no part in getting promotion - it is based purely on performance and potential.”

Among those addressing the audience were former US Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General (Retired) Colin Powell, Dr Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC and social historian Stephen Bourne.

Colonel Karl Harris, the Army BAME Network Chair, described the speakers’ talks as ‘inspirational’ and said those sharing their stories really struck a chord with their passion, integrity and desire to make a difference.

He said: “We are all here because we are interested in understanding BAME-related matters better and seeing what it is we can do as positive agents of change.

“This conference serves to provide and gain perspective, so we can consider how we all might make a difference.”