42nd Annual Secretary of Defense Disability Awards Ceremony.
Deputy Secretary of Defense – Dr. Kathleen Hicks
Director, Diversity Management Operations Center – Mr. Clarence Johnson
Keynote Speaker – COL Gregory D. Gadson, USA (Ret)
Associate Director, Disability Programs Directorate, closing statement – Mr. Sam Drummond
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the 42nd annual Secretary of Defense disability awards ceremony. Please welcome the playing of the national anthem and invocation. Yeah, what’s around at the twilight’s lights parts. We’re so guideline to lee streaming and the rockets that our flag was too. Does that star spangled? And would you please pray with me gracious Lord. We give thanks to you for your many rich blessings upon us and our nation. Thank you for the privilege to live in a land where freedom is not only celebrated but cherished and defended with our lives Lord Today as we celebrate this special occasion, we are filled with hope and optimism. We are grateful for our service members and civilians who work tirelessly to defend the ideals of our country. Lord maybe never grow weary in doing good as your word says. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint. Now we ask you to blast this ceremony and lead us into your everlasting joy. We ask these things in the name of our Savior, sustainer and Redeemer. Amen to our Secretary of Defense award recipients and Department of Defense community. It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the 42nd annual Department of Defense disability awards ceremony. Thank you for joining us here today as we recognize our service members, civilians components and military departments for their exemplary achievements. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Deputy Secretary of Defense. the honorable Kathleen H. Hicks, Good afternoon everyone on behalf of Secretary Austin and the entire Department of Defense. Welcome to the 42nd annual D. O. D. Disability awards ceremony. Today we celebrate the core element of our unmatched strength as a military and Department of Defense. Our people maintaining that strength requires tapping into every reservoir of talents and skills that America has to offer. That includes people with disabilities who bring so much to this department through their talents, skills, education and motivation to serve at D. O. D. We’re fortunate to benefit from several pathways that help us enlist the right talent and benefit from the skills and patriotism of people with disabilities such as the wounded warrior program, Operation Warfighter and the workforce recruitment program. These programs have been instrumental to increasing the number of people with disabilities who are serving their country in a wide range of critical jobs. Throughout the department. Today’s 28 individual honorees are proof of that. A mix of service members and D. O. D. Civilians from across the Department of Defense. These honorees are engineers, analysts, instructors, machinists, I. T. Specialists, HR managers, software developers and more in nominating them for these awards. Many of their leaders described them as out of the box thinkers, innovative problem solvers, natural leaders and exceptional performers exactly the kinds of qualities we need to win the competition for the 21st century. They’re serving all around the world from strategic air and naval bases in the Indo-Pacific to domestic posted installations across the United States of America and wherever they serve. However they serve all of them are making a difference and contributing to D. O. D. S mission of defending our country here at the pentagon. Secretary Austin and I are committed to making sure D. O. D. Draws from all of America’s many and diverse strengths and that in so doing we also reflect the nation were sworn to defend. We’re also committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible workplace culture across all of D. O. D. That’s why today we’re recognizing four duty components that are leaders among their peers and hiring retaining and promoting people with disabilities. Their work has also been exemplary implementing model programs, policies and practices that we encourage other components to adopt and expand so that every part of our department benefits from the unique talents and skills that people with disabilities bring to the table. There’s much to celebrate today. So let’s get to it. Congratulations to all of our honorees and thank you for what you do every day to serve our country. Good afternoon everyone. I am CJ Johnson director D. O. D. Diversity Management Operations Center Within the Defense human resources activity. I would like to extend my congratulations to this year’s awardees to each of the service members and civilians with disabilities being honored today. Thank you for your outstanding service and for lending your talents to D. O. D. Additionally, I would like to congratulate the D. O. D. Components being awarded for their exemplary employment practices in promoting hiring retaining and advancing individuals with disabilities. This marks the 42nd anniversary of the disability award ceremony. For the last 42 years, we have gathered together to recognize outstanding individual disabilities for their contributions to the d. o. d. These awards inspired D. O. D. S. Competitive spirit in those making remarkable strides in fostering a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Each October we celebrate national disability employment awareness month. This year’s theme is disability part of the equity equation. This theme highlights the imperative that individuals with disabilities provide essential perspectives and innovative ideas to solve some of the most difficult challenges. And I encourage all of you to renew your efforts to provide a workplace that is accessible and inclusive for workers with disabilities and to continue to operate beyond historical barriers to access and inclusion. I charge you all to innovate and indeed, Excel. D. L. D. Provides access to employment opportunities for individual disabilities and with veterans through are widely recognized programs such as the workforce recruitment program, Operation Warfighter in our centrally funded accommodations program, the computer electronic accommodations program. We are able to hire individuals with disabilities and wounded warriors to create an environment where all can advance and thrive. Each one of these initiatives has been instrumental in increasing the number of employees with disabilities within D. O. D. These programs provide those with disabilities opportunities to prepare for full time employment while allowing them to showcase their skills and abilities in a safe and welcoming environment. We recognize and appreciate the military departments and the other D. O. D. Components that are successfully utilizing these programs. I encourage you to continue to use and expand these vital programs. Our workforce and working environment have been strained over the last 30 months in the midst of the pandemic and persistent mission demands. Throughout this challenging time, individuals with disabilities have led our department in demonstrating determination, perseverance and flexibility and continuing to support the mission. It is what they do. It is what they have always done more than ever. It is an imperative that we follow the example of innovation that individuals with disabilities have shown the workforce their skills and talent will continue to advance the mission of D. O. D. And the federal workforce. During this year we have commemorated the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with disabilities act. The A. D. A. This landmark piece of legislation opened the door for every person with a disability to participate fully and independently in society. From creating employment opportunities to providing access to computers, communications and transportation. The A. D. A. Affected all aspects of our country and allowed individual disabilities to fully integrate into our local communities. This law profoundly changed our society and gave individuals with disabilities the chance to bring their creative problem solving skills and unique tools and technology into our workforce. The president’s executive order on diversity equity, inclusion and accessibility in June of 2021 further emphasizes and demonstrates the value of diversity to our department. We are continuing to work closely with our federal partners to expand and enhance the inclusion of individual disabilities so that we may further benefit from their perspectives. Work ethic and talent adaptive and accessible solutions such as tele work virtual meetings, verbal description are all relatively new concepts to most of us. However, these have already been daily tools for many individual disabilities now while these tools have been instrumental in allowing individuals with disabilities to work, they are now becoming a universal norm and will continue to be so in our future. These are all examples of how the ingenuity of the disability community has translated and improved the workplace. Research shows that there are a wide range of benefits to hiring people with disabilities. There are loyal employees with high retention rates and low turnover. They are reliable, punctual and highly productive. However, this segment of our community still experiences a record high unemployment rate. The Bureau of Labor statistics earlier published that only 19% of working age individual disabilities are employed and that’s compared to 66% of their counterparts without disabilities. We must do better and we will D. O. D. Is committed to leveraging diversity to include employees with disabilities within our department and apply these strengths and advantages to enhance force effectiveness and mission. With ali we are continuing to further this role as we commit to lead the federal government in becoming the model employer of people and veterans with disabilities. D. O. D. Has dedicated his efforts to be a model employer for individual disabilities by becoming a place where individuals can lend their builders and talents and where hard work will be appreciated and recognized as it is today. So we have come here today to recognize 28 outstanding service members and civilians for their contribution to the mission of the Department of Defense. You will hear about all the hard work that these individuals have done to further the mission of the Department of Defense. These individuals have lent their talents time effort and ingenuity to their military department and components and have gone above and beyond the typical workday. They have found ways to streamline services, cut spending and identified ways to create a better and more positive working environment for all their contributions are further the path to equity for individuals with disabilities and have strengthened our workforce. I am confident that D. O. D. Will continue to meet our mission requirements because of the employees that we are honoring here today. I thank you for your dedication to the mission and for your contribution to strengthening the readiness of the all volunteer force. We also honor four D. O. D. Components for their efforts to increase access to opportunities for individuals with disabilities. These organizations have hired and mentored individuals with disabilities and successfully utilized the special hiring authorities to transition the best of these individuals into the permanent workforce as well as to bring new talent into D. O. D. There’s no doubt that their workforce has been enriched through the experiences, perspectives and innovative approaches to overcoming any challenge. While only four D. O. D. Components including one military department are being recognized for their achievements, I am pleased to report that all are making progress to advance inclusion and employment opportunities for individual disabilities and wounded warriors throughout D. O. D. Recognizing they’re just hiring veterans and individuals with disabilities is not enough to make D. O. D. A model employer for people with disabilities. The honored components have created strategic plans to address access to technology and D. O. D. Information systems to those who use assistive technology. They have created processes to address the town and provision of reasonable accommodations and included a means to fund and provide necessary personal assistance services to those with targeted disabilities who may require such assistance. The department applauds your efforts. Thanks you and encourages your continued progress. Now it is my pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker. Please welcome Colonel Gregory Gas in the United States Army Retired. He’s an actor, motivational speaker. Retired. Currently the United States Army and former commander of the U. S. Army Fort Belvoir Garrison. He is also a bilateral above the knee amputee. He served in the U. S. Army for more than 20 years as a field artillery officer and served on active duty for operations, Desert Shield and Desert Storm operation, Joint forge operation and during Freedom and Operation Iraqi. Freedom Gregory serves as an example that despite the challenges, adversity can be leveraged to build strength, innovation and vision to succeed at any task at hand. It is an understatement to say that it is with great honor that I can introduce you to. Today’s honored guests. Please welcome my colleague and friend, Colonel Gregory Gaston. Good afternoon. My name is Colonel Retired Greg Gatson. What an honor to be able to participate in the Secretary of Defense’s National disability Employment awareness month award ceremony First of all, congratulations to all of the awardees and organizations that have demonstrated excellence and recognizing our diversity and the role of those with disabilities play in the diversity equation. It’s hard for me to believe that more than 15 years ago in Baghdad, Iraq. I was wounded in combat. The result of those wounds cost me both of my legs above the knee and severe damage to my right arm and hand, but I was blessed to be part of an organization that recognize that those with disabilities could continue to serve could continue their service and make contributions. I was fortunate and blessed that just three years after my wounds, the United States Army approved my continued service on active duty. 1st. I serve as the director of the United States Army wounded Warrior Program, a program that our army developed to help those with severe challenges and disabilities namely continue their service in the military or transition successfully out of the military. I was really blessed to be selected and promoted to the rank of colonel and selected to command. Again, I was able to command at the garrison level running Fort Belvoir as the garrison commander and in those responsibilities, I was again able to oversee the daily operations of a military base while caring are are assisting and as a, as a team member for those in the warrior transition battalion. Those with disabilities overcome challenges every day. Sometimes I struggle with the word disabilities because quite honestly, I don’t believe that my disabilities prevent me from living a full life, prevent me from contributing. I would ask all of us to think about those that that have challenges or disabilities and how they’re able to overcome them and to contribute and become valuable parts of our team. In fact, truly, how is that a disability? We are challenged in our pre animal to form a more perfect union to form that more perfect union. We have to challenge ourselves to be inclusive, allowing all of us to achieve our best selves. That’s the challenge that I have as an individual every day and that’s the challenge we have as a workforce every day to enable every one of us to reach our best potential to reach our best selves. And so as we move forward for a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Let’s challenge ourselves personally to be better. Let’s challenge ourselves personally to learn more about others so we can continue to break down barriers again. I want to congratulate all of the awardees and all the organizations that continue to set the example. God bless you all. Thank you. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is now our pleasure to present the 2022 Secretary of Defense Disability Awards to outstanding service members and civilians. These awards honor those who have supported the successful diversity of our workforce across the D. O. D. Mission overseas contingency operations and whose attributes best epitomized the qualities and core values of their respective military department or other D. O. D. Component. The 2022 award recipients have been selected by their organizations from among thousands of Department of Defense Service members and civilian employees with disabilities or significant contributions to enabling disability inclusion worldwide. This year, awards are presented to 28 civilian employees and service members whose commitment to excellence have contributed significantly to our ability to keep our nation safe and secure from the Department of the Air Force Staff Sergeant louis. C. Drake. Security control supervisor 377th weapons systems, security squadron, Kirkland Air Force base New Mexico. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievement for Staff Sergeant Lewis see drake for their outstanding contributions and critical performance in supporting nuclear and non-nuclear weapons system security as a security control supervisor. 377th Weapons system Security Squadron Staff Sergeant Drake’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Staff Sergeant Louis C. Drake from the Department of the Air Force Bow Robert Chastain explosive ordinance disposal instructor, United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command 366th Training Squadron Sheppard Air Force Base Texas. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements for both Robert Chastain for their outstanding contributions and performance as an explosives ordinance disposal instructor for the United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command. 366th Training Squadron Sheppard Air Force Base Mr. Chastain accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations bo Robert Chastain from the Department of the Navy George I. More operations analyst, strategic systems programs. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Mr. George Moore. He is the final adjudicator for strategic systems programs, nuclear weapons related materials disposition, His efforts ensure critical control of nuclear weapons related materials. In accordance with specifications from the Department of the Navy Mr. Moore provides the ultimate determination if the proposed materials are nuclear weapons related materials related. Mr. Moore’s adjudication efforts ensures that no N. W. R. M. Related materials are acquired by our nation’s adversaries. Mr. Moore truly exemplifies the characteristics and attributes that the Department of the Navy strive for in their personnel. He is mission focused. He consistently demonstrates exceptional dedication to duty and he is a role model of moral conduct and leadership. Congratulations George. More from the Department of the Navy Allen are Nagle facilities engineer, strategic planner, acquisition and construction management branch, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane division, corporate operations department Infrastructure Division. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Mr. Nagle. He collaborated with the facilities engineering to develop a state of the art building design concept that allows for designing once and site adapting for a much lower cost with minimal changes required in floor plan designs allowing for rapidly reconfigurable space to be quickly built and easily maintained no matter the mission. This concept has been mirrored by other warfare centers. Mr. novels accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Alan R Nagle from the Department of the Navy Stephen R. Sybil. Chief audit director, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy installations and Environment Office of Public Private Partnership audit level reviews. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Mr. steven are stable. Mr. Sabol worked with naval criminal investigative service is N. C. I. S. And Department of Justice to plan a dynamic and proven audit investigative approach to identify conspirators in contract fraud schemes. His extensive financial and program audit experience, ensured compliance, promoted economic efficiency and effectiveness in programs, operations across the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Sibal managed multiple audit teams issued multiple N. C. I. S. High level reports and saved navy funds. He conducted an acquisition program audit report in fiscal year 2021 resulting in $10 million in savings, identified $3.6 million in funds earmarked for cancelation and avoided funds being returned to the US Treasury and analyzed target cost and performance data and the maturity level of acquisition programs saving $9.6 million. Mr. sobel’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Stephen symbol from the Department of the Navy. Dane K seminar, A machinist Naval facilities, engineering systems command Hawaii. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Dane K seminar A Mr. seminar A is the lead shot machinist responsible for keeping the way Iowa pump station running 24 7 supplying potable water to the Pearl Harbor and Hickam, Air Force bases, ships, submarines, military housing, Halawa barbers point camp smith and Redhill Mr. seminar A is the focal point from the onset of the Red Hill water storage tank crisis. with the subsequent shutdown of the Red Hill pump station Mr. seminar A. Is responsible for the mechanical maintenance of the Iowa pumping station, which currently supplies 100% potable water to Navy assets to be operational 24 7 Mr. Seminar A ensures that all maintenance are up to date, physically checks all the pumps and pipes, temperature, oil levels and vibrations. MR seminars. Mechanical skills and can do attitude are always in demand. He had manufactured pump parts and rebuild pumps for his former shops, saving the Navy considerable amounts of money. Mr. seminars accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Dane seminar A from the Department of the Navy, Antoinette L. Texeira, Information technology specialist, Fleet installation, engineering and Logistics Department, fleet modernization and installation division. Naval Information Warfare Center pacific the Department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Antoinette Texeira. She exhibited excellence as a member of the Fleet Readiness directorate, installation Office for Naval Information Warfare Center pacific Her position as the lead planner for global installation contracts. See Enterprise three and her dedication to supporting the command control, communications and computer system. Fleet modernization. With the contract process enabled an improved state for readiness for the warfighter Mystic Sarah’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Antoinette Texeira from the Department of the Navy Wendy? S brooks corporate business office division Head Acting Naval Sea Systems Command. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Miss Wendy brooks. Miss brooks stood up a new team of forward deployed HR liaisons for the organization who serve as the first point of contact in the department for all HR functions including interpretation of HR policies advising on workforce shaping, execution of hiring plans and recruiting strategies, data analytics, conduct and performance advising and several other HR matters. MS brooks cleared a remarkable backlog of actions within the corporate business office division. MS brooks responded superbly do pivots in the internal management business performance review. Miss brooks has kept the division performing despite being at only half-staff due to recent patricians. MS brooks’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Wendy brooks from the Department of the Navy Christopher, J culture management and program analyst. Naval supply Systems Command weapons Systems Support the department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Christopher culture writer for developing the first ever virtual naval supply Systems Command Academy to personnel from across the enterprise at multiple sites worldwide, arranging numerous briefings over a multiple day training Chris developed a training catalog, of course is aligned to the Office of Personnel management’s Executive core qualifications and the Department of Defense’s continuum model. He was key contributor on the team that built a SharePoint out processing checklist to alleviate paper and email copies, reducing time spent by 50%. Mr. Cole traitors accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Christopher culture from the Department of the Navy. Mario Cardoza Systems Engineer, Naval Sea Systems Command. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Mario Cardoza. Mr. Cardoza has actively monitored littoral combat ship LCS ship maintenance availability, technical documentation to uphold technical authority and ensured technical comments were incorporated by the ship builder. He has consistently been an excellent resource for technical information and supports technical experts at three shipyard locations. Mario developed a multi whole maintenance availability report to compare one whole with another to discover trends which are beneficial and those which impede the maintenance process. He managed initial review of littoral combat ship, post-delivery work specs and process control procedures to ensure content was complete and accurate. Mr. Cardoza’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense Congratulations Mario Cardoza from the Department of the Navy Stephen L. Elliott Medical Supply Director, Naval Special Warfare Group One. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Mr. Stephen Elliot Mr. Elliott is responsible for a multimillion dollar annual budget and the material maintenance of $10 million in medical equipment. His adept experience in the collection and analysis of supply statistics, workload data, product reviews and test and evaluation ensured Naval Special Warfare Group One Procured the highest quality product at the most cost efficient price point to improve Navy Sea Air and Land team. Survivability in austere operations. Mr. Elliot’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Stephen Elliot from the Department of the Navy Jose are Inoa Jove in. Information technology specialist, SharePoint developer training and Education Command, United States Marine Corps. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Mr. Ynoa Jove in Mr. Inoa Jovian fulfills SharePoint customer support requirements. Mr. Ono A Jovian singlehandedly coordinated provisioning of power user premium licenses and orchestrated numerous training sessions through the Microsoft contracting officer representative and the Knowledge management officer, thereby permitting the full potential of this capability to be realized. Mr. Inoa Jovian concentrated his efforts on the impending enterprise wide migration of content from organizationally unique tenants to the SharePoint online environment. His efforts led directly to the migration of more than 600 individual sites to SharePoint online. Mr. Inoa jovenes accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense Congratulations Jose and Noah Jovian from the Department of the Navy Doreen M. Lob Training Manager. Naval Supply Systems, Command weapons systems Support the Department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding Service and notable achievements to Doreen M Lob Doreen is responsible for reviewing certification, requests for Defense acquisition workforce improvement act certification of acquisition workforce employees. She works with both civilians and military members to advise them on their requirements. She responds to questions and sends announcements to keep the acquisition workforce up to date on changes to E. D. A. C. M. And the I catalog. Doreen assisted the Defense Performance management and appraisal program Manager with the appraisal program as a super user and assist employees and supervisors in completing their portion of the appraisal In the defense civilian personnel data system, she runs reports and notifies directorates of appraisal status to ensure all N. A. V. S. U. P. W. S. S employees are compliant during collaborated with the developer to build an automated reporting system for the required mandatory employee and supervisory trainings. The automated noncompliant report closes an inspector general finding for the command, which has 2550 civilian and military employees. The estimated savings reduced manual preparation time by 84%. Miss Lobs accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Doreen Lobb from the Department of the Army Sergeant first class Robert Brown. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to sergeant first class Robert Brown, Sergeant, first class Robert Brown is frequently sought as subject matter expert for physical fitness, nutrition and advise on how to become a more physically capable soldier. He is a master resiliently instructor and teaches classes frequently to 4th knocks, trains and certifies level one classes and still serves as a career counselor. He increased the commander’s ability to communicate effectively and frequently across are very large and diverse population consisting of 100 and 60 military personnel as well as over 300 Department of the Army civilians and contractors. He works tirelessly maintaining updating and monitoring all of the company metrics, provides regulatory guidance and advised to the company commander and always act selflessly in the best interests of the company sergeant. First class Brown’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Sergeant 1st Class Robert Brown from the Department of the Army, Norvell C. Turner safety and occupational health manager. U. S. Army Central Command. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Norville C. Turner. Mr. Turner serves as the U. S. Army Central Safety Director preserving readiness through prevention of accidental loss for over 30,000 soldiers. D. O. D. Civilians and contractors Across 17 countries in the Middle East and Central and South Asia. His specialized contributions and expert safety knowledge have been vital to the identification of critical safety issues and deficiencies and providing risk mitigation measures and corrective actions to reduce accident trends across the U. S. Army Central Theater of operations. Mr. Turner’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Norville Turner from the Department of the Army Robert C. Bender Live training systems program specialist U. S. Army training and doctrine Command. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Robert Bender. Mr. Binder serves as the lead combat developer and expert technical advisor for live training devices for combat vehicles including the vehicle tactical engagement simulation system V. T E. S. S training device program. He led a review of V. T. E. S. S. Fielding quantities to support urgent replacement of the aging wireless independent target systems W. I T S And adjust the distribution plan to mitigate shortages and maximize efficiencies of devices across vehicle fleets for combat vehicle systems and tactical vehicle systems. The review reduced the size of the training device inventory by over 6000 kits, saving the government $53.5 million. In addition to his extraordinary efforts supporting the live training domain. Mr. Binder has provided outstanding support to disabled members of the Army training support center team. Mr. Binder’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense Congratulations Robert Bender from the Department of the Army, Kindelan W. Evelyn Human resource specialist, functional Area 40 Force Manager, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Service and notable achievements to Mr. Kindelan Evelyn. During his tenure, Kindelan has established himself as the resident expert on all matters pertaining to functional area 40 space operations. He provides quality and caring service to the entire Army wide community of active component and reserve component functional Area 40 personnel. Kindelan provided sound recommendations for increasing the amount of functional area 40 positions across the army and ensured that he coordinates with the career manager on a new Near daily basis to ensure the assignment of the proper officer to the correct position at the right time. In keeping with the Army’s current talent management principles, Mr. Evelyn was pivotal in guaranteeing that his organization could execute the essential life cycle management functions for functional area 40 personnel. Mr. Kindelan W. Evelyn’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Kindelan Evelyn from the Department of the Army, Diana Guevara accounting technician, U. S. Military Academy. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Diana Guevara. Diana is an accounting technician in the directorate for Academy Advancement at the United States Military Academy, West point new York. Her tireless efforts ensure 4400 cadets receive a premier educational and superior leadership experience. During each cadets 47 month journey through West Point. Diana has served in this role for over five years and has over 31 years of federal service. Diana is a trusted professional that provides timely and thorough work to customers in multiple departments throughout the academy. Whether the program, she is working on deals with the academic, military, physical or character development of our cadets. She ensures the success of the mission with a genuine concern for the welfare of the individuals involved. MS Guevara’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Diana Guevara from the Department of the Army. April S. Pellegrino, Administrative specialist, operations officer, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command. Miss April Pellegrino has worked for the United States Army for over 17 years in various positions of responsibility. For the last five years, she has worked in the Army Space Personnel Development office as the operations officer. In this capacity, April is responsible for managing space cadre recognition programs including the Army space badge, additional skill identifiers for space cadre and joint tactical ground station operator and personnel development skill. Identify their unit, space trainer for military personnel and the space cadres, certificate and pin program for Department of the Army civilians. April volunteers. Her time and efforts for many deserving community related events and programs. MS Pellegrino’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations April Pellegrino from the defense commissary Agency Rachel Blanchard. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Miss Rachel Blanchard Rachel works in the produce department at the Kadena afb commissary. Her duties are prepackaging fruits and vegetables, ensuring stock is available on the floor, checking expiration dates on salad and organizing the shipments we receive. Her specialty is thinking outside of the box and her positivity and humorous nature bring enjoyment to her fellow employees and a happier working environment. Her constant involvement and communication with fellow employees opens them up and inspires them to do the same, resulting in an increased quality of work life. Rachel is a natural leader when someone needs assistance, she is there to help. MS Blanchard’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense, Congratulations Rachel Blanchard from the Defense Logistics Agency, steven chu management and program analyst, asset management Office de Ella. Information Operations. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Mr. steven chu. He is the enterprise asset management, primary point of contact for the review, research and vendor identification for government purchase card, information technology purchases, ensuring that required technical reviews are accurately completed and authorized vendors are used within the course of the last year. Mr. chu has gone above and beyond the call of duty in his role by providing exceptional communication to our services and customers and getting mission critical items out in an urgent manner. He consistently ensures that I. T. G. P. C. Packages are prepared accurately and forwarded for purchase approval utilizing his outstanding attention to detail. Mr. Chu makes certain that tickets assigned to him are reviewed, coordinated and action is taken to quickly resolve within the seven day ticket resolution standard 98% of the time. His abilities are truly exceptional in providing details and has the work ethic that makes himself as an exceptionally productive employee. Mr. chu’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations steven chu from the Defense Finance accounting service. Amy um Hoffer, lead accountant, departmental reporting, accounting operations directorate D. F. A. S. Indianapolis. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Miss Amy Hoffer. In her 10 years of service as a defense finance and accounting service employee. Amy has consistently risen to the challenge of supporting her customers and the people she works with. She provides training to her division and is one of the go to people whenever there are questions. Amy played an integral role in reducing overtime usage within the division by over 8000 hours per year. Her efforts in this area led to a better work life balance for all of her coworkers and a lower bill for the army. Amy was one of the creators of a new process that supported 97% of intra governmental transactions which led to the elimination of over $8 billion 700 provided by customer requests were submitted on time to auditors and helped remedy numerous audit findings. MS. Um Hofer’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense, Congratulations Amy um Hoffer from the defense contract management agency, Theresa Wesolowski contract administrator D C M A Chicago. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Miss Teresa’s Arlovski, Theresa or Terry has been a vital force within DCM a Chicago, responsible for ensuring the integrity of all data inputs concerning thousands of contracts administered by her office. Terry serves as the first point of review for new contracts that are assigned to the office and has taken on additional roles to assist in the planning for an annual conference and creating and contributing to an organizational newsletter. Terry is a rising star within her organization and is quickly becoming a cornerstone for the future of D C M A. MS. Salov sci’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense, Congratulations Theresa Wesolowski from the D. O. D. Education activity. Renee Sam breath lead licensing analyst D O. D. E. A. America’s Southeast District. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Rene Sam breath She’s a valued department of Defense education activity, employee in the human resources licensure unit Within the licensor unit. Rene is the lead licensing analyst for D O. D. E. A S. America’s Southeast district in this role. She serves as a subject matter expert for her team in various work groups. She mentors a junior licensure analyst. She volunteers to share her knowledge with others and she is a great all around team member. The licensor unit has the responsibility of ensuring that all educators have satisfactorily completed their requirements for given teacher’s certificate. This also assures the public that only properly trained individuals are allowed to instruct and administer academic programs in D. O. D. E. A. In addition to sharing her knowledge and supporting her colleagues, Renee possesses the superpower of selfless service, actively upholding diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility not only in the workplace but also in her community. Renee also supports the National Association of the Deaf in A. D. Through workshop participation and volunteering her time to support local communities in the district of Columbia. Renee’s passion and commitment to the D. O. D. E. A mission are matched only by her strong work ethic. Her willingness to take on difficult projects to successful completion has been impressive. She is involved, dedicated, caring and truly enhances D. O. D. E. A. S image as a model employer. Miss Sam Ruth’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense, Congratulations Renee Sam breath from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service Freddy K. Sheldon customer experience. Associate Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements for Mr. Freddy Sheldon Freddie’s dedication to the military community spans 29 years, Freddie executes the four foundations of customer service and assist in training new associates. Freddie has been very active with the special Olympics, and Freddie was a torch lighter for two years. His dependability is commendable and has led those who work with him to understand how the human spirit can ignite the flame we all carry and to achieve more than we thought possible. Freddie is very proud to serve the military community As an associate of the exchange, we are proud to have Freddy as part of our exchange family. Mr. Sheldon’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Freddy Sheldon from the Defense contract audit agency Kristy Campbell, the department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements. To Miss Christy Campbell MS Campbell demonstrates an exceptional commitment to excellence over her 18 years of federal government service. MS Campbell works for the D. C. A. S. Ohio River Valley branch offices. Piketon sub office, which primarily provides reimbursable audit services to the Department of Energy. MS Campbell utilizes her detailed knowledge of the Department of Energy to effectively engage in auditing services and ensures the reimbursable work is completed on time and within budget. These actions ensured MS Campbell’s efficiently completed her audit and avoided excess costs and schedule delays. MS Campbell’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations, Christy Campbell from Washington headquarters services. Catherine L. Rousseau lead American sign language interpreter. The department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding service and notable achievements to Miss Catherine Russo. MS Russo worked to rapidly stand up Washington headquarters services American sign language interpreter program in 2021 this new team eliminated excessive cost by establishing a flexible program that maximized flexibility around supporting demand for A. S. L. Services. Previous A. S. L. Programs were limited in scope and therefore fell short in providing accommodations to deaf and hard of hearing employees. This revolutionary change in service delivery required months of planning and MS. Rousseau led the process to build the team and its capabilities. MS Russo also addressed the gap in services to other disabled employees and was able to provide parody of service to all employees. MS Russo also created tools to manage, organize, track and schedule, reasonable accommodation services, customers and managers have access to view availability of various services when planning meetings and events. MS. Russo also led her team to fully align with the equal employment opportunity Commission mandates for W. H. S. MS Russo’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense Congratulations Catherine Russo from Washington headquarters services, Chanel M health, human resources specialist Washington headquarters services human resources directorate. The Department is honored to present the Secretary of Defense Award for outstanding service and notable achievements to Miss Chanel health. She embodies the core values of leadership, professionalism and technical knowledge through her professional courteous and expert guidance and advice. Her impact on Washington headquarters services. Mission has improved morale, productivity and fosters a climate where diverse ideas and approaches are encouraged. Miss Heath is recognized for continuously advancing Washington headquarters services, effectiveness, efficiency and adaptability, delivering high impact contributions in accordance with regulatory and compliance constraints successfully supporting the W. H. S. D. O. D. Strategic goals of developing an agile workforce. MS Hef’s accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense. Congratulations Chanel Health, congratulations to all of our individual awardees And now for the 2022 Secretary of Defense Awards to the D. O. D. components and military departments for their efforts to implement exemplary programs, policies and practices to advance a diverse and inclusive workforce. D. O. D. Awards components. Military departments to honor achievements and exemplary practices in employing individuals with disabilities. The awards are based on D. O. D. Component performance across multiple criteria related to hiring retention and advancement of individuals with disabilities. The following components are selected to receive the awards for 2022, the Department of the Air Force is recognized with the Secretary of Defense Award for the best Military Department for achievement and advancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities among the military departments. The Air Force achieved leading scores related to overall employment of people with disabilities, the highest increase in the numbers of individuals with disabilities employed within the component and hiring the greatest number of employees under schedule A hiring authority to achieve these successful outcomes. The Air Force adopted and implemented effective retention strategies such as an internal mechanism to process fund and provide reasonable accommodations including personal assistant services for employees with disabilities and offered a mentoring program designed to support and retain employees with disabilities. Congratulations to the Department of the Air Force. The Defense Logistics Agency is recognized with the Secretary of Defense Award for best midsized component for achievements in advancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Among the mid-sized components. The Defense Logistics Agency is recognized for the greatest increase of individuals with targeted disabilities as well as the largest number of employees hired under schedule a hiring authority. The Defense Logistics Agency led the mid-sized components and converting interns from the workforce recruitment program to permanent employees to achieve these outcomes. The Defense Logistics Agency has a comprehensive reasonable accommodations program which includes a centralized means to request fund and deploy accommodations including personal assistant services and a strategic plan to address accessibility challenges to technological programs and services. Congratulations to the Defense Logistics Agency. The National Security Agency is recognized with the Secretary of Defense Award for Best Intelligence Component Award. Among the intelligence components. The National Security Agency received the highest scores for the number of individuals with disabilities. The component significantly increased its numbers of employees with disabilities from the previous year. Additionally, n. S. A. has the highest reported number of veteran hires with a 30% disability rating or higher. Congratulations to the national Security Agency. The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General is recognized with the Secretary of Defense Award for best small sized component for achievements in advancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities among small sized components. D. O. D. Office of Inspector General achieved leading scores for providing employment opportunities for people with targeted disabilities. During the reporting period, the Office of Inspector General increased the total number of employees with disabilities. The Office of Inspector General also exercises a robust mentoring program that promotes high performance and diversity to elevate their mission results. Congratulations to the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General. Good afternoon. I’m Sam Drummond, the associate director for the disability programs, Directorate diversity management Operations center. We hope you enjoyed today’s ceremony. We would like to thank the Secretary of Defense, the honorable Lloyd J. Austin the third. The Undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness. The Honorable Gilbert Cisneros Jr the Director Defense human resources activity. Mr. William Booth, the Director of diversity management operations Center. Mr. Clarence Johnson for supporting our celebration today. We would like to thank all D. O. D. Leadership for their continued efforts and commitment to advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. A special thanks to the keynote speaker, Colonel Gregory Gatson. A pleasure to hear your words of wisdom and encouragement. You are a true American hero and as so many look up to you not only as a military icon and American pop icon, but also as an example of how one can turn adversity into greatness. A special thank you to the vast network of D. O. D. Disability advocates. Your efforts across the D. O. D. Enterprise creates a more innovative, effective and diverse workforce. Your daily contributions cannot be understated. You play an important role in making today a reality. Finally, congratulations to this year’s award recipients. This concludes the 2022 Secretary of Defense Disability Awards ceremony. Thank you and have a great day.