By Staff Sgt. Gina Nieto, 2nd Battalion, 363rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West Public AffairsOctober 21, 2013
MCGREGOR Range, N.M. -- Staff Sgt. Rosario Garcia, equal opportunity leader for 2nd Battalion, 363rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Black Scorpion, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, was nominated 15 May for the National Latina Style Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding achievement as the Battalion Equal Opportunity Leader.
The National Latina Style Distinguished Award is given to Latinas for their hard work and dedication. Latina Style has been recognizing the Latinas in the United States Armed Forces for their outstanding accomplishments and honoring their contribution, not only to the military but also to their country in the advancement of diversity and inclusion.
Garcia's commitment to excellence greatly contributed to her selection as the Forces Command nominee for the National Latina Style Distinguished Service Award. Garcia represented 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West and FORSCOM for the highly prestigious award. She was the front runner for the award and was selected nominee for FORSCOM. Although she was not selected, she represented the unit with great pride and her accomplishment speaks highly of her tireless efforts and contributions to the Army's EO program.
Garcia has been an equal opportunity representative for six years. She has been the EO representative for TF Black Scorpion for nearly a year.
"The Equal Opportunity Program for the Army is a necessary program to control discrimination on the basis of race, skin color, national origin, gender and religion. The Army is a very diverse organization in which interaction with people of different backgrounds is necessary and strength," said Garcia. "However, because the Army is so diverse we are exposed to others' cultural backgrounds other than what we might be used to and the EO programs assist with educating people on the differences of others by having diversity training and a complaint process.
"It's okay to have differences and not like everyone; however, it is how those dislikes are projected that make a difference," she added.
Garcia has taken a personal interest in the EO program providing guidance and advice to her peers throughout the battalion, and even in her civilian career where she also served as an equal opportunity representative.
"The EO program makes a difference with preventing and resolving discrimination. No one should have to work in an environment where one is judged on his/her differences. Many people confuse discrimination with personality conflicts and that's why the EO Representative is there to assist and clarify what is discrimination and what is not," said Garcia.
Garcia's initiative with TF Black Scorpion's EO program has allowed the battalion to experience no reported EO complaints during her time in the unit.
"Fortunately, in our battalion, we have not encountered discrimination based on race, skin color, national origin, gender and religion, said Garcia. "We conduct quarterly training and our teams are very diverse."
As an EO representative, Garcia said she would like to continue to provide training and maintain a workforce that remains non-hostile.