FORT KNOX, Ky. — Human Resources Command has a new office designed to ensure organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion practices at all levels of HRC.
While still in its infancy, the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Workforce Development got its start in October of 2021.
Along with ensuring organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion practices, the purpose of the office is multi-faceted and directly supports leadership.
“The DE&I team will assist and advise leadership in support of their efforts to ensure a fully transparent and fair system exists,” said Carmen Lewis, DEI and Workforce Development chief.
This will include marketing initiatives, recruitment, hiring, advancement and retention.
ODEI, for short, seeks to implement diversity training that develops socio-cultural competencies, create and maintain an inclusive environment where the value of diverse knowledge, experiences and backgrounds enhance mission readiness, according to Lewis.
On the authority of the President’s Executive Order 13583 and the Army People Strategy, HRC implemented the ODEI as one team inclusive of Equal Employment Opportunity, Military Equal Opportunity, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program and Workforce Development working together for the enrichment of the HRC workforce.
As stated in the Army People Strategy of October 2019, “We will shift from simply ‘distributing personnel’ to more deliberately managing the talents of Soldiers and civilians. This means creating a 21st century talent management system with policies, programs and processes that recognize and capitalize on the unique knowledge, skills and behaviors possessed by every member of the Army team, allowing us to employ each to maximum effect.”
For HRC, this will enhance organizational awareness and sensitivity regarding diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
“Our team seeks to develop and cultivate an understanding and environment, where DEI remains a critical and integral part of the organization’s culture,” Lewis said. “We also want to retain talented professionals with rewarding careers, by providing a diversity of talent, knowledge, skills, behaviors and preferences – drawn from all corners of our country and its vibrant, multi-cultural population.”
The Army People Strategy mission and vision are that the Total Army will acquire, develop, employ and retain the diversity of Soldier and Civilian talent needed to achieve Total Army readiness, while building cohesive teams for the Joint Force by maximizing the talents of our people, the Army’s greatest strength and most important weapon system.
The HRC ODEI is a small team made up of civilian and military personnel, who report directly to the HRC commanding general.
The team is committed to a diverse and inclusive organization that fosters creativity, solves complex problems, and enhances innovation through employee engagement, while promoting an environment free from discrimination, micro-aggressions, sexual harassment and sexual assault.
“We are fully dedicated to ensuring that every teammate knows they matter and are valued,” Lewis said. “Our commitment to a fair and just process will ensure that everyone has an equal chance to reach their professional and personal goals.”