Passion drives 416th TEC’s equal opportunity specialist

By Catrina FrancisOctober 13, 2022

Carie Mackey, 416th TEC EO specialist
Carie Mackey, the equal opportunity specialist for the 416th Theater Engineer Command, will be an adjunct instructor at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute’s five-week residency course at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, in January 2023. (Photo Credit: Catrina Francis) VIEW ORIGINAL

DARIEN, Illinois – Passion is defined as having a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire. Passion for the Army Reserve Equal Opportunity Program is what drives Carie Mackey, the 416th Theater Engineer Command’s equality opportunity specialist.

Coming in January 2023, Mackey, a four-year EO specialist, will be an adjunct instructor at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute’s five-week residency course at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida. Mackey said to become an adjunct instructor the TEC’s commanding general recommended her, and then she was selected by the U.S. Army Reserve EO office to be one of two primary instructors to teach the course.

Mackey pointed out that it’s important for her to pass on best practices as an adjunct instructor based on her experience and what she has learned because the Army Reserve is different from active duty.

“On active duty, if you go to the EO office you just get in your car and go, but in the Reserve, we can’t do that,” she said. “We [must] get creative on how we service Soldiers across all the states that we support in the Reserve. I like to problem solve and I can bring that to help us establish a solid program when we have challenges with distance.”

Prior to attending the five-week residency course, service members are required to complete the distance learning portion. After the five-week course, they then complete a five-day service specific course because Mackey said EO is slightly different across the services.

“We need to teach [equal opportunity advisor candidate Soldiers] the skills and give them the tools they need so they can be successful at their respective brigades and divisions,” she said. “All EO advisors are at brigade and division levels.”

Mackey added that it’s vital that EOAs are approachable, be able to talk to people, listen, understand, and have a genuine concern for the well-being of others. She said if the service member does not possess those qualities, they can possibly be dropped from the course because they aren’t the right fit for EO. While teaching the service members, Mackey said she will look for the qualities that are needed to become an EOA.

“I’m looking for the passion, there has to be the passion for this job,” Mackey said. “This is not just an assignment you just do to check the block — it’s a passion, a family. We are a family, this whole EO, we are a family. So, everyone we are teaching is a new member of the EO family. I hope to pass on the passion for this program so we can continue to have that passion for years to come and for the next generation of EO advisors and specialists.”

If a Soldier is interested in becoming an EOA, the TEC has vacancies at each of its brigades. It is a troop program unit position for a staff sergeant promotable or sergeant first class. For more information about becoming an EOA or the EO program, please contact Mackey by email at or by calling (719) 366-8239.