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On May 14th, the Joint Munitions Command kicked off its Minority College Relations Program summer session. Nineteen students from 15 different universities began their ten-week MCRP internship. The interns are working on collaborative projects that offer professional development and an introduction to federal service, while advancing the missions of their respective commands.

This is an important leg of the Diversity and Inclusion outreach strategy within JMC, Army Contracting Command, the Army, the Department of Defense, and the federal government. Recognizing that the Unites States, “derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all,” and that, “We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of society,” Executive Order 13583 laid the foundations of this strategy by seeking to “promote the Federal workforce at a model of equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion” by recruiting from all segments of society. The MCRP outreach effort feeds directly into this goal.

In his welcoming remarks to the new MCRP class, Brig. Gen. Gavin Gardner, JMC commander, emphasized the value of the program to both the interns and the government they serve, as well as the importance of investing in people with different backgrounds, origins, and experiences.

“I’m about recruiting talent,” said Gardner. “The greatness of an organization is an organization that’s diverse. And the greatness of government service is moving around, including overseas, to open your aperture and broaden your perspective.”

The summer class of interns come from widely varied backgrounds, attending universities in Arkansas, Illinois; St. Thomas, Puerto Rico; Mississippi, Florida; and Alabama. Eleven of the interns are at Headquarters, JMC; Crane Army Ammunition Activity, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, and Tooele Army Depot each have two; and two are at Army Contracting Command – Rock Island.

While working to assist their commands, the interns are introduced to opportunities within the federal workforce. The goal is to broaden the future pool of talented job applicants by showing interns both the value and responsibility of government service.

“We want you to serve your nation,” Gardner said. “I challenge you each and every day to ask the people that train you, and the leaders you meet, to see what drove them to serve. Anybody can achieve anything in the Joint Munitions Command and in the U.S. government.”