ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Every year, the U.S. Army Sustainment Command recognizes one or two employees for their outstanding commitment to promote diversity and inclusion in the workspace and the community. For 2016, ASC presented two individuals with the Equal Employment Opportunity Champion of the Year award.

Catherine Corbett, adjutant and Equal Employment Opportunity counselor, Army Field Support Battalion - Fort Campbell, 406th Army Field Support Brigade, ASC, was one of the recipients of the award.

Maj. Gen. Edward Daly, commanding general, ASC, presented Corbett with the award during a ceremony at the battalion headquarters, Feb. 10.

The other recipient of the award is Raphael Garrison, logistics management specialist, Acquisition Integration and Management Center, ASC. Garrison is scheduled to receive his award during the next ASC Town Hall gathering.

Both recipients said diversity is important to promote at ASC.

"Diversity is important to any agency," said Corbett. "It allows for common learning of other cultures … and can be a huge value-added when you support diversity in seeking more effective ways to function as a team or unit."

Garrison said it is also important because it is ethically right, and because it maximizes the Army's capabilities.

"Allowing all Soldiers and civilians to rise as far as their God-given ability [can] take them is critical to the Army mission," said Garrison.

Any ASC employee can nominate a fellow employee for the award. Nomination submissions must demonstrate commitment to promoting and furthering EEO goals. They must also show that the nominee is positively and actively engaged in their communities through activities such as volunteering.

The EEO Champion of the Year award was created in 2012.

According to his nomination packet, Garrison was selected in part because of his involvement with serving on the ASC Diversity Working Group, which was a committee responsible for developing the ASC Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. He also works to ensure the enforcement of EEO initiatives within his area of responsibility.

Garrison, a retired Army Warrant Officer, was also nominated because of his involvement in his church and community.

In November 2015, Garrison and his wife were recognized as the "Foster Family of the Year" by Bethany for Children and Families in Moline, Illinois.

"My wife and I believe that all children are precious and wanted," said Garrison. "We feel privileged to be able to provide an interim home for them while they are awaiting adoption."

Garrison also mentors young men through his church in Rock Island, Illinois.

He said he is grateful for the recognition.

"I am honored and humbled," said Garrison. "I have always believed that it is my mission in life to be the change in my community -- not just talk about it."

Like Garrison, Corbett was nominated for both her professional and personal involvement in promoting fairness, justice and diversity.

Corbett's nomination packet stated that as an EEO counselor she "treats everyone with Respect and promotes the Honor and Integrity of each individual while being committed to the principles of equal opportunity."

Corbett is involved in her community, participating in numerous events to raise awareness about disadvantaged groups, disability and multiculturalism. One of these events was the "Making Strides Breast Cancer Awareness Walk," which she participated in with "Team Diversity," a group of more than 25 people from varying walks of life.

She also said that she contributes annually to the Make A Wish Foundation, Child Hunger Ends Here, and Charity: Water.

Corbett said she was surprised and pleased to receive the recognition.

"Receiving the award has just reaffirmed that I am doing the right job for the Army," she said. "I have truly enjoyed working in the EEO field for many years."