KEYPORT, Wa. (NNS) -- Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, attended the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport’s “Powered by Diversity; United for the Mission” event at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport Apr. 24.
The event was a chance for the active duty and civilian workforce to meet with both the CNO and the command’s special emphasis program managers (SEPMs) as NUWC Division, Keyport continues to strengthen its culture of inclusion and welcoming.
“Keyport is attractive for a number of reasons. Keyport’s reputation is huge,” Richardson said. The CNO praised various efforts by NUWC Division, Keyport, such as the welcoming committee and special emphasis programs, which serve to create a sense of community.
“All of these things that try and bring the Keyport community together to be part of this ‘One Navy Team’ that we’re building are extremely enticing,” said Richardson
The event featured remarks by the CNO and Capt. Jon H. Moretty, commanding officer of NUWC Division, Keyport, before a discussion group sat with the CNO to talk about the challenges and benefits of creating a welcoming community.
“Having a welcoming and inclusive workforce is critical to meet the needs of today's and tomorrow's Navy,” said Moretty. “A welcoming organization ensures that an individual's voice or idea will be heard, while inclusiveness ensures we get ideas from a broad range of experiences, cultures, and backgrounds. These two in tandem will allow the best ideas to be discussed and put into action.”
Moretty said he firmly believes creating a sense of community and connection enables any command to become a well-managed organization that is innovative and nimble enough to meet the challenges faced by the Navy.
“Connectedness and community is the willingness to invite everyone to sit at your table,” said Moretty. “It also means taking the time to learn about those who you are working for, working with, and who work for you. Build that personal connection with those around you because this allows increased communication and problem solving, both of which are vital to achieve mission success.”
During the discussion forum, Richardson said NUWC Division, Keyport was an example to the Navy due to the command’s efforts to find the value offered by each member’s unique talents, story, and life experiences.
“The idea of belonging is so powerful because it creates an intrinsic motivation to support the team,” said Richardson.
The CNO said the Navy has to continue focusing on more than simply diversity for diversity’s sake, and NUWC Division, Keyport’s Welcoming Committee is an example of a positive effort to create a real sense of community.
“You have to go beyond just diversity and beyond inclusion. How powerful is it when you finally feel is your group,” Richardson said. “The idea that, from the moment someone steps aboard Keyport, they are welcomed is powerful.”
Anna Long, NUWC Division, Keyport’s strategic planning officer, said she was satisfied with the success of the “Powered by Diversity; United for the Mission” event because it both gave the SEPMs a chance to meet new personnel and also showed the command is very serious about creating an environment that welcomes all qualified people and is seeking to unleash their potential.
“Creating a ‘welcoming’ culture is the first step towards true inclusion,” said Long. “People don’t easily feel included if they don’t first feel welcome, and this is especially true if a new employee or team member has a significant and obvious difference. If we want them to find opportunities to perform at their full potential, we have to continue deepening our culture of welcome to create a true feeling of unity.”
Long said NUWC Division, Keyport will continue to focus its efforts on creating a welcoming environment so that the warfare center will be a beacon attracting the best and brightest talents form among the Navy’s active duty component and the civilian world.
“People make decisions. Robots don’t run Keyport or the Navy; people do,” said Long. “If we want people to feel welcome enough to work here, we have to remember and always ensure their unique talents, life experiences, and perspectives are respected and treated as valuable.”
For more news from Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport, visit www.navy.mil/local/nuwcd/.