WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 1, 2018) -- Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper presented U.S. Army Forces Command's Paulette Y. Reese with the 2018 "Secretary of the Army Award for Diversity and Leadership for Equal Employment Opportunity Professional" during a June 1 ceremony at the Pentagon.

The Army award was for her distinguished and selfless service as the United States Army Forces Command Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Director from July 2013 to the present.

"The quality of your service, your initiative and your unwavering commitment contribute greatly to why our Army is the respected and professional organization that it is," Esper said during the Army awards ceremony recognizing Army civilian employees and Soldiers for their achievements. "Our strength … the strength of this nation is our Army. Our Army strength comes from your values, your dedication and your efforts."

Reese is responsible for implementing, leading, and directing a "Model EEO Program" for a diverse organization composed of thousands of U.S. Army Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilian Employees. The award recognizes her "excellent leadership and competence in addressing workplace issues and provides expert advice and guidance while fostering innovation and empowering people to solve problems at the lowest level."

"Her persuasive and collaborative style with all stakeholders has resulted in the establishment of several internal and external partnerships as well as a tremendous increase in leaders' awareness and active participation and commitment to the success of Forces Command's EEO program," the award nomination said.

Reese "continually evaluates the Six Essential Elements of a Model EEO Program - Commitment, Integration, Accountability, Proactive Prevention, Efficiency, and Responsiveness - and creates tasks under each respective program element to the model EEO program," the award nomination explains.

Reese is a native of Fayetteville, N.C., and began her federal career in 1981 with the Department of the Air Force at Lowery Air Force Base, Colo., and later transferred to the Department of the Army in 1982. Reese served in a variety of occupations including administrative and civilian human resources before joining the ranks of Equal Employment Opportunity in 2001.