NATICK, Mass. – Diversity and inclusion took center stage during a recent event at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, or DEVCOM SC. DEVCOM SC hosted Anselm A. Beach, senior advisor to the Secretary of the Army for Diversity and Inclusion, as well as Col. Caprissa S. Brown-Slade, Army Chief Diversity officer.
DEVCOM SC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council organized the event. The council is led by Anita Perkins, who also serves as the technical lead for the Army Combat Boot Improvement effort and is a footwear research engineer in DEVCOM SC’s Soldier Protection Directorate.
“The Army recognizes people as its number one priority,” said Perkins. She noted that diversity and inclusion are critical to mission readiness and accomplishment.
Beach gave a presentation to the workforce about Army diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“It is extremely humbling to be here,” said Beach. “I served in the Army as an enlisted Soldier. I could not be more proud to engage with you in this timely conversation.”
During his presentation, Beach said that diversity is the framework that serves to recognize the value of every person. He also discussed equity vs. equality, noting that equity enables everyone to have access. As an example, he noted that if you are vision impaired, equity is established by getting you a computer that meets your vision needs. Equality would mean that everyone would be given the same computer and does not guarantee access.
“Equity aids capability so the Army gets the benefit,” said Beach.
Beach said that inclusion and diversity mean attracting and retaining the best talent and building a cohesive team. Individuals being valued, included, and understood leads to cohesive organizations, which are based on dignity, respect, reward, and inclusion.
Craig Rettie, director of Research and Technology Integration at DEVCOM SC, echoed Beach’s sentiments. Rettie said that diversity and inclusion are not just important from an organization performance perspective, but it’s also a moral imperative. Rettie noted that diversity and inclusion “enable us to get the best out of our organization and to develop high performing individuals.”
Rettie said that diversity, equity, and inclusion need to be organic and in the fabric of everything DEVCOM SC does.
Douglas Tamilio, director of DEVCOM SC, noted the importance of inclusion.
“The event was an important opportunity to learn more about Army diversity and inclusion initiatives and how to make our workplace more inclusive,” said Tamilio. “We need to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and that their contributions are valued.”
About DEVCOM Soldier Center: The DEVCOM Soldier Center is committed to discovering, developing, and advancing science and technology solutions that ensure America’s warfighters are optimized, protected, and lethal. DEVCOM Soldier Center supports all the Army's Modernization efforts, with the Soldier Lethality and Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Teams being the DEVCOM Soldier Center’s chief areas of focus. The center’s science and engineering expertise are combined with collaborations with industry, DOD, and academia to advance Soldier and squad performance. The center supports the Army as it transforms from being adaptive to driving innovation to support a Multi-Domain Operations Capable Force of 2028 and a MDO Ready Force of 2035. DEVCOM Soldier Center is constantly working to strengthen Soldiers’ performance to increase readiness and support for warfighters who are organized, trained, and equipped for prompt and sustainable ground combat.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) outreach and mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers are also an important part of the mission of DEVCOM Soldier Center. The mentoring of students by Army scientists and engineers benefits the students and their communities. It also increases young people's awareness of potential Army job opportunities and helps provide the Army with potential new talent, helping to fuel innovative ideas that benefit the nation's warfighters and the nation as a whole.
DEVCOM Soldier Center is part of DEVCOM. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.