REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering's Prototype Integration Facility not only focuses on advancing its technologies but also its workplace inclusion.

In January 2016 the PIF began presenting the Defense Equality Opportunity Management Institute's Special Observance themes. Danny Featherston, program manager of AMRDEC's PIF, explained the presentations bring a sense of unity amongst the workforce.

"Our goal was to actively improve our equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion climate through education," said Featherston. "During each month of 2016 we asked a member of the PIF team or a special guest to come to the PIF to introduce the theme and provide a short presentation during staff call. We've hosted supervisors, Senior Executive Service members, industry partners, as well as our own team members."

DEOMI opened in 1971 as the Defense Race Relations Institute in response to the civil rights movement of the 1960's. The institute has expanded over the years and now offers Equal Opportunity/Equal Employment Opportunity education and training for military active duty and reservists as well as civilians.

This year the PIF participated in the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command sponsored special observance display contests held for all Redstone organizations. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the team created a display in the PIF lobby that included a table presentation with historical references and a seven-minute educational video.

"Our team of 12 employees produced a short video describing why it's important to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," Featherston said. "The video contained English, Spanish and Vietnamese languages to represent the diversity of our team. We also constructed a display to honor the DEOMI theme, 'Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off!' "

The PIF team earned the 3rd place award and received a plaque on behalf of AMRDEC.

"I was surprised by the overwhelming support I received from people who wanted to participate in the video," said Loren Vigil, the PIF's training coordinator. "The best part about this presentation was it made people reflect differently about MLK's contributions. By engaging a diverse cross section of our workforce to speak from the heart, and in some cases in their native language, they each had something unique to contribute."

DEOMI themes include Martin Luther King Jr. Day, African American/Black History, Women's History, Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention, Holocaust Days of Remembrance, Asian American and Pacific Islander, LGBT Pride, Women's Equality, Hispanic American Heritage and Native American Heritage.


The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel