PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (NNS) -- U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F) hosted the C10F Equal Employment Opportunity Diversity and Inclusion (EEOD&I) symposium at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute on Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., April 8-12.
Vice Adm. Timothy “T.J.” White, commander, FCC/C10F, Capt. Michael Vernazza, chief of staff, FCC/C10F, and Command Master Chief Dee Allen, FCC/C10F, spoke to approximately 60 active duty Command Managed Equal Opportunity (CMEO) managers and civilian Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) liaisons, about creating more inclusive command environments.
“We cannot have success or progress in the mission if we aren’t caring for our people,” said White. “I’m very focused on getting the most out of all our Sailors and professional civilians, so I want you to succeed and I will do whatever I can to help that.”
White emphasized the necessity for CMEOs to communicate with not only their leaders, but also other Sailors in the command.
“I will need you to engage,” said White. “It’s ok to be aggressive and assertive about getting in to see the command triad about an issue. Equally important, you need to insert yourselves with your shipmates. They need to know who you are and you need to embrace that role. You need to identify with them so that they can identify with you.”
Vernazza spoke to the audience about his perspective as a former commanding officer (CO).
“What you do is vitally important, not only for the command, but also for the triad in order to make sure we stay on the ‘right side of right’ and we address the issues that need to be addressed,” said Vernazza.
He talked about the importance of communication between CMEO managers and their COs.
“We are looking to you guys, as the leaders in this area, to show us what needs to be done to shift rudders on issues,” said Vernazza. “You have to get on the CO’s calendar and talk about the issues. You have to make an effort to talk about the issues that are effecting the command.”
Allen stressed that being a CMEO is about the ability to do the job and not on physical appearance.
“It doesn’t matter what color or gender you are, you are there to do a job,” said Allen. “You were selected for your qualifications and that you can do the job. That’s the most important thing and we have to push that issue. Regardless of who they are, you are going to take care of your people.”
The FCC Director of EEOD&I, Lucinda “Cindy” Marshall, ended the symposium with praise to the symposium participants.
“We have a very professional and diverse group of FCC CMEO managers and civilian EEO liaisons who have travelled from all over the world to come here to strengthen their knowledge and expertise in EEOD&I,” said Marshall. “You are to be applauded.”
Marshall credited her team and the audience’s participation for making the event a success.
“I’m very proud of you and the EEOD&I team for the hard work necessary to make this symposium happen,” said Marshall. “Without Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Leonard Starr, command climate specialist, and Stephanie Tidwell, diversity and inclusion officer, and their undying commitment to their respective programs, this symposium would not have been a success.”
FCC is responsible for Navy information network operations, offensive and defensive cyberspace operations, space operations and signals intelligence. Comprised of over 14,000 Sailors, Reservists and civilians stationed across the world, C10F is the operational arm of FCC and executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders.
For news and information from Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/FCCC10F/ or follow us on twitter @USFLEETCYBERCOM.