Captain Steven Henry, co-chair of the Army’s BAME network has recently been awarded an MBE, in the Queen’s birthday honours list, for helping to improve the lives of Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority soldiers and officers.
Captain Henry, of 1 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, spoke to Forces News about the series of events he’s organised to highlight Black History Month.
“It’s been a really really pleasant Black History Month,” he said.
“The engagement we, as a network, have received from the chain of command, from various units, regiments, divisions, brigades has been unprecedented.
“We’ve had a real positive feedback to our message of inclusion.
“I’m really happy and content that the information and the chats that we’ve had with various people have gone down really well this year.”
The Captain’s comments come after months of worldwide anti-racism protests following the death of US citizen George Floyd while being arrested by police in Minneapolis back in May.
“All we need to do is remember to treat people as you would want to be treated,” says Captain Steven Henry.
“Treat people with respect, listen to people, and if they need that coaching, that mentoring part, then do your job, be a professional leader and show them what they should be doing as opposed to what they shouldn’t be doing.
“We are a professional army, and we’re one of the best armies in the world because we’ve always maintained discipline, we’ve always looked after our people.
“Now we just have to tweak it, now we just have to look after our people a little bit more," he added.
“There’s always room for improvement, we should always strive to be better.
On being awarded his MBE, he says: “In reality, all it simply was, was putting others’ needs and wants before my own and trying to get people around me to think and feel that way as well.”
Earlier this month, Baroness Goldie, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence (MOD) told Forces News she believes the Armed Forces are seeing an improvement over issues surrounding race and diversity, saying the recruitment of BAME personnel is “absolutely going in the right direction”.
The Army launched the Black Asian and Minority Ethnics (BAME) network in 2017, to celebrate and support serving soldiers, as well as to inspire new recruits to join.