Navy Earns Award for Efforts to Find Right People for Total Force

Story Number: NNS090324-10Release Date: 3/24/2009 4:13:00 PM
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By Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Zimmermann, Navy Diversity Directorate

ATLANTA (NNS) -- The Navy's Strategic Diversity Working Group (SDWG) was honored at the 10th annual Summit on Leading Diversity March 17 for its vision and contribution to the Navy's ability to effectively support the nation's maritime strategy.

Recognized as one of the top 15 organizational diversity councils in the country, the Navy SDWG has made strides in improving recruitment and retention of a diverse total force.

"The work of these top councils elevates the overall significance and value of all councils," said Janice Bowman, president of the Association of Diversity Councils. "The strategies, tactics, activities, commitments, results and achievements they have identified help to set the standard of excellence for diversity and inclusion councils on a national level and provide inspiration for all who are on the front lines of diversity and inclusion every day."

"The Strategic Diversity Working Group's efforts result in improved communications amongst enterprises and communities, enabling synergy of effort and sharing of best practices," said Capt. Ken Barrett, director, Navy Diversity. "Working together ensures a coherent, compelling, consistent message throughout and external to the Navy, and our efforts have resulted in exponentially increasing awareness and outreach across our diverse Nation."

The SDWG's mission is to support the recruiting, development and retention of the best and brightest personnel the nation has to offer - in order to maintain an effective Navy Total Force. Its members work together to coordinate flag officer and senior executive participation in diversity-related outreach events across the nation as well as the attendance and outreach efforts of other Navy members. Much of this work includes developing partnerships with affinity groups that focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) disciplines - both to provide personal and professional development options for Sailors and Navy civilians but also to create awareness of the opportunities available in naval service.

"Diversity of the Navy Total Force is essential for mission readiness," said Capt. Wayne Radloff, professor of naval science, and head of the Atlanta-area consortium of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program. He noted the Navy's progress in managing the need to be an attractive, competitive option for a diverse talent pool but cautioned that even more effort is necessary.

Radloff went on to say that being concerned about the diversity of the Navy Total Force is both the right thing to do and absolutely necessary if the Navy is to remain competitive well into the 21st century.

"With the changing demographics of society, it's essential that we think big picture," said Radloff.

The Navy SDWG was part of an elite group receiving awards for 'seeing the big picture,' including diversity councils from American Airlines, Bayer, Cargill, CSX, FedEx and Gannett Co. Recipient groups were evaluated on: demonstrated council results; demonstrated management commitment; measurement and accountability; and communication and education.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Diversity Directorate, visit

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