Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery K. Jenkins from the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research was selected as the 2011 Equal Opportunity Leader of the Year for the U.S. Army Medical Command.

Jenkins, the USAISR Research Directorate Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, said that this award will now give him the opportunity to attend the Army's Equal Opportunity Advisor course and obtain a special assignment as an EOA.

"It also gives me greater responsibilities in the equal opportunity world, to have a great impact on a greater number of Soldiers," he said. "It also enables me to teach and train the force on the fair, just and equal way to work and live."

In a memorandum signed on January 6, MEDCOM Commanding General and Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho stated that Jenkins promotes the tenets of civil/human rights and equal opportunity within the workplace and throughout the community.

"His inclusive engagement of the community, embracing all backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities has greatly helped our organization and the United States Army to appreciate and value our rich diversity, and his example serves as an inspiration to all Soldiers with the MEDCOM," Horoho wrote.

"He has brought great honor to our organization," said Col. (Dr.) Lorne H. Blackbourne, USAISR commander.

"Equal Opportunity is our bridge to eliminate discrimination. Our application and understanding of Equal Opportunity will open our minds to a world beyond our own lives," said Jenkins. "So, Equal Opportunity guaranties a balanced distribution to all for all, allowing access to the best that life has to offer. Equal Opportunity is an entitlement as well as a right, and I want to educate Soldiers, civilians and contractors about the importance of how all deserve that right. Equal Opportunity should not have to be earned through works, statistics or quotas, but instead it should be the way life is conducted: fair, just and equal."