On the Job
Woody Patrick serves as Special Emphasis Program manager at the Garrison Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

As a self-proclaimed Army brat, Woody Patrick experienced firsthand how exposure to different cultures, ethnicities and ideas can enrich a person's life. As the Garrison's new Special Emphasis Program manager, he is already hard at work so that Team Redstone can take advantage of all its people have to offer.

"I love what we're doing here," Patrick said. "I really believe in this office and this work."

He credits his father's military service with broadening his horizons and teaching him the benefits of diversity.

"The moves my family made while my dad was in the Army were one of the greatest gifts my parents could have given me," he said. "I had the chance to travel the world. I got to see different places, meet the people, taste the food and just learn a little about the culture. It made me who I am."

As an adult, Patrick spent 20 years in the Air Force. His military career was split equally between law enforcement and Equal Employment Opportunity.

"I have a lot of experience in this," he said. "The entire last half of my career was in EEO. I've taken all of the courses and training available."

Determined to take advantage of all the educational experiences the military afforded him, Patrick earned six degrees while on active duty. In addition to his master's in psychology, Patrick has three associate degrees in law enforcement, one in social services, and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration.

After retiring and working in the private sector for a few years, he became an Army intern. While in the program, he worked on post in the Space and Missile Defense Command Equal Employment Opportunity Office. When it came time to take a permanent assignment, he chose to return to Redstone.

"I came back in March," he said.

As the SEP manager, Patrick analyzes data pertaining to the demographics of Team Redstone. Ideally, the work force within the installation gates should mirror that of the one outside them.

"I focus a lot on the statistical data on hiring and losses," Patrick said. "I collect all the data and see how we compare."

He uses that information to advise and encourage commanders and program managers to provide positive, continuing opportunities for qualified people in their organizations.

Patrick is also serving as a mentor to other new hires at the Garrison EEO. He is trying to give them the positive experience that he had as an Army intern.

"I can't give them the formal training that I had the opportunity to go to," he said. "But I can give them the hands-on support and knowledge that I received."

Patrick is also working on updates and improvements to the office. He is working on the restructuring of their website to provide more information to visitors at the click of a button. The site is slated to be back up and running by the end of this month.

There are also a few awards and programs to keep him busy. On June 2, Garrison commander Col. Bob Pastorelli signed a memorandum establishing two EEO councils at Redstone. The first, the Employee Equal Employment Council, offers anyone working on post a forum for questions, concerns or advice on EEO issues on the installation. The second is comprised of those working in management positions.

"They are the people who can make decisions on hiring and how people move up," Patrick said. "They'll be able to see where they stand in terms of EEO. We'll help them form an action plan based upon their own numbers."

In addition to handling all the other EEO awards, Patrick is busy with a new one. An annual EEO award for the Garrison has been created. One award will be given in each of the three categories - employee, supervisor and manager - to members of Team Redstone who have "made a significant contribution to accomplishing EEO program goals."

Nominations for the new award are under way. Winners will receive a plaque of their own and be the first to have their names added to a permanent plaque on display in the Garrison command suite.

For more information on the Special Emphasis Program, EEO councils or awards, contact Patrick at woody.patrick@us.army.mil or 876-9259.

"Many EEO issues are actually just a lack of communication," Patrick said. "Come to us. Let us help before a situation turns into a real problem."

Page last updated Wed June 17th, 2009 at 17:33