WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy Office of Diversity and Inclusion Equal Opportunity Office hosted the first of a series of training workshops being held across the fleet this year for Command Managed Equal Opportunity (CMEO) Program Managers in Norfolk, April 10.
The three-day symposium provided CMEO program managers instruction on addressing discrimination, hazing, equal opportunity, command climate assessments, sexual harassment and sexual assault. More than 150 CMEO's and Equal Opportunity Advisors (EOA) from across the Norfolk fleet concentration area were in attendance.
The event emphasized the Navy's focus on sexual assault prevention, and the role CMEO's play in ensuring a command climate free from sexual harassment.
U.S. Fleet Forces Master Chief (SW/AW) Bennie Gloria believes CMEO's are one of the biggest assets a command can have in sexual assault prevention and response.
"Sexual assault starts at sexual harassment," said Gloria. "Anything that is sexual harassment that is not stopped - that is what it can lead to. The two go hand in hand, and they shouldn't. If you stop one, you'll see a big benefit in the other. CMEO Program Managers play a key role in stopping problems before they become sexual assault."
George Bradshaw, director of Navy Equal Opportunity, spoke on the need for CMEO's to utilize tools such as the DEOMI Equal Opportunity Command Survey (DEOCS) to ensure a climate free from discrimination and sexual harassment.
"We've all heard the sexual assault numbers in the news," said Bradshaw. "Your job as a CMEO is to look at the DEOCS, and look at it on an overall continuum. If you're noticing indicators of sexual harassment, there is a possibility it could be leading to a climate of sexual assault. You, as a CMEO, can help your leadership see these trends and stop them head-on."
Logistics Specialist Chief Christian Campos (AW/SW), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 CMEO program manager, said the training reiterated the importance of his job, especially in assisting his command in identifying concerning trends before they become bigger issues. He noted that on occasion, it can be difficult for some CMEO's to tell their commands what they may be seeing.
"Awareness is the key to this job," said Campos. "We should never be hiding anything from our commands or commanding officers - it defeats the purpose of this position. If everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing, they should be keeping it real and telling the command the truth, not just what they want to hear."
The annual professional development training for CMEO's included briefs by senior leadership and equal opportunity and diversity subject matter experts, as well as experienced training professionals. It is designed to provide better understanding of CMEO roles and responsibilities, including effective and timely administration of the command climate assessments.
Seven additional CMEO Program Manager Trainings are planned for 2012. Details on the events and a complete training schedule can be found in NAVADMIN 101/12.
More information on Navy Equal Opportunity, including definitions, policies, and Equal Opportunity Advisor general job descriptions can be found online at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/equal_opportunity/Pages/default.aspx.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Navy and Marine Corps. The Department of the Navy is working to aggressively to prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims, and to hold offenders accountable.
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For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Office of Diversity and Inclusion, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp-diversity/.