Special Submission by NAWCTSD Public Affairs

Volunteers share a taste of “Americana” during Diversity Day 2017 at Naval Support Activity Orlando. Photo credit: NAWCTSD

The Naval Air Warfare Center Training System Division (NAWCTSD) joined forces with U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), and U.S. Marine Corps Program Manager for Training Systems (PM TRASYS) in celebrating Diversity Day April 13. Diversity Day is an annual event held at Naval Support Activity Orlando every April during “Celebrate Diversity Month.”

Diversity Day is designed to emphasize the enhancement of employment and advancement opportunities for minorities, women and individuals with disabilities as well as foster a culture that celebrates all aspects of a diverse workforce. The event’s theme “Operating Forward with Diversity” emphasizes the importance of how diverse points of view help strengthen the forward-deployed war fighters who benefit directly from the training systems developed by NAWCTSD.

Diversity Day was kicked off by senior leaders representing many of the military modeling and simulation agencies based at Naval Support Activity Orlando. Participants included civilian employees from NAWCTSD and PEO STRI and uniformed members of each military service including the Coast Guard.

NAWCTSD Diversity Council Chairman, Hoang “HD” Doan serves as the master of ceremonies for Diversity Day 2017 as Naval Support Activity Orlando. Photo credit: NAWCTSD

“No matter where you work, Navy, Marine Corps, Army or Air Force, you are all part of Team Orlando.” NAWCTSD Commanding Officer, Capt. Erik Etz said during his welcoming remarks. “The diversity in uniforms is accentuated by the diversities in background experience. We do work together as a joint team and the things that we do to build our products is exemplified by all the many folks who represent the background experiences that work here.”

U.S. Army Program Executive Officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, Brigadier Gen. William E. Cole reinforced the importance of diversity within the Department of Defense. “The United States military has long been at the forefront of our nation’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion,” he said. “I know I speak for all of the military services in Team Orlando in saying we all enthusiastically support that goal. Bringing everyone’s different attributes and experiences together will enhance our ability to operate globally and rise to meet a wide variety of future threats.”

The annual event incorporated training sessions, eight cultural heritage booths representing a variety of employee backgrounds, and samples of cuisine from around the world. At lunchtime employees and guest performers presented a variety of music and educational presentations. One of the highlights of this year’s event was a cooking competition featuring cuisine from around the world. First place went to Asian American Pacific Islander Team for their chicken curry over rice meal.

Etz summed up the importance of taking time to embrace diversity. “When you think about the things we do together, we deliver products so well; we do it as a team,” he said. “The same goes for our cultural diversity, when we work together well across our lines of diversity, we find that we can deliver products that are stronger as a result of our teams working together. So when we celebrate Diversity Day today, we do it because we train like we fight, we fight to win and we can only win as a cohesive team.” (Feature image courtesy of NAWCTSD)

NAWCTSD/NSA Orlando Commanding Officer, Capt. Erik Etz welcomes Diversity Day attendees at Naval Support Activity Orlando April 13. Photo credit: NAWCTSD

U.S. Army Program Executive Officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, Brigadier Gen. William E. Cole welcomes Diversity Day attendees at Naval Support Activity Orlando April 13. Photo credit: NAWCTSD