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Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
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Madison DeGruy Discusses Benefits Of Workforce Recruitment Program
Workforce Recruitment Program Success Story: Northrop Grumman
DoD Reaffirms Commitment To Individuals With Disabilities
President Marks 25th Anniversary of The Americans With Disability Act
The Annual Disability Awards Ceremony honored Defense Department components for outstanding achievements in the hiring, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities. It also highlights the accomplishments and abilities of employees and Service members with disabilities who have made significant contributions to and best demonstrate the core values of their respective organizations.
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Deborah Lee James
Secretary of the Air Force
Admiral Michael S. Rogers
Director, National Security Agency
Jon T. Rymer
Inspector General, Department of Defense
Director, Defense Finance and Accounting Service
The Department of the Air Force is awarded the Best Military Department Award for the fourth consecutive year.
The Department of the Air Force has achieved impressive outcomes related to the employment of individuals with targeted, significant disabilities, with the highest participation rate, new hire percentage and promotion percentage for such individuals of the three military departments.
To facilitate achievement of these positive employment outcomes, the Department of the Air Force has adopted many effective strategies, including recruiting widely for positions in all pay plans, occupations and levels; effectively using Schedule A excepted hiring authority; resurveying its workforce’s OPM SF-256, Self-Identification of Disability status codes; adopting a written reasonable accommodations policy for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities; and providing appropriate training to senior leadership and managers.
The Department of the Air Force was created when President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947. This made the U.S. Air Force a separate military service and ended a 40-year association with the U.S. Army. The U.S. Air Force thus entered a new era in which airpower became firmly established as a major element of the nation’s defense and one of its chief hopes for deterring war. The mission of the Air Force is "to fly, fight, and win…in air, space, and cyberspace." To achieve that mission, the Air Force has a vision of global vigilance, reach, and power. The Department of the Air Force comprises more than 305,000 active duty Service members and more than 130,000 civilian employees.
This is the second consecutive year that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service has received the Best Mid-Sized Component Award. In 2015, DFAS was the only component to achieve DoD’s longstanding goal that two percent of its workforce be individuals with targeted, significant disabilities. Individuals with disabilities represented 2.21 percent of DFAS’s workforce, a 4.43 percent increase over the previous year and a higher rate of increase than any other mid-sized component. DFAS also led all mid-sized components in its promotion rate for individuals with targeted disabilities.
In addition to demonstrating positive employment outcomes, DFAS has adopted written reasonable accommodation procedures and was the only mid-sized component to have a comprehensive operational plan for centralized funding of reasonable accommodations.
DFAS was created by the secretary of defense in 1991 to standardize, consolidate, and improve accounting and financial functions throughout DoD. The intent was to reduce the cost of the department’s finance and accounting operations while strengthening its financial management.
The DFAS leadership and workforce are dedicated to achieving the agency’s vital mission every day, "to lead DoD in finance and accounting by ensuring the delivery of efficient, exceptional quality pay and financial information." To accomplish this and to guide the future, the agency has adopted a challenging vision to build upon past accomplishments and reach higher, "to be a recognized leader in DoD’s financial management by consistently delivering first-class service and products."
The DoD Office of Inspector General is the recipient of the Best Small-Sized Component Award for the second consecutive year.
In addition to its strong performance in most statistical categories, OIG made the best use of the Schedule A noncompetitive hiring authority relative to other small-sized components. The OIG was also the only small-sized component to conduct a resurvey of its workforce on the Office of Personnel Management Standard Form 256, Self-Identification of Disability.
The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General was established in 1982. Its mission is, "to provide independent, relevant, and timely oversight of the Department of Defense that supports the warfighter; promotes accountability, integrity, and efficiency; advises the Secretary of Defense and Congress; and informs the public."
The DoD OIG’s vision is "to be a model oversight organization in the Federal Government by leading change, speaking truth, and promoting excellence; a diverse organization, working together as one professional team, recognized as leaders in our field."
The National Security Agency has won the Best Intelligence Component Award for the second straight year. NSA performed well in most statistical categories, particularly its new hire rates for individuals with targeted, significant, disabilities and for veterans with a disability rating of 30 percent or greater.
NSA also stood out in conducting a resurvey of its workforce’s SF-256 disability status codes; establishing a written reasonable accommodation procedure; and presenting a comprehensive operational plan for centralized funding of supplies, equipment, and services necessary to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.
Established in 1952, NSA has provided timely information to U.S. decision makers and military leaders for more than half a century. The Central Security Service was established by presidential directive in 1972 to promote full partnership between NSA and the Service Cryptologic Components of the U.S. Armed Forces. This new command created a more unified cryptologic effort by combining NSA and CSS. The director of NSA also serves as the chief of CSS.
NSA, CSS is unique among the U.S. defense agencies because of its government-wide responsibilities. NSA, CSS provides products and services to the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, government agencies, industry partners, and select allies and coalition partners. In addition, NSA delivers critical strategic and tactical information to war planners and war fighters.
With almost 20 years of service in the U.S. Army, Staff Sgt. Jorge G. Haddock-Santiago serves as the Army Wounded Warrior Program military human resources specialist...
Army Capt. Mary J. Hubbard has more than 16 years of federal service, including her service in the U.S. Army. Hubbard is the special assistant to the director of the...
Elham Williams has worked at the Schofield Barracks Soldier Assistance Center in Hawaii for more than ten years - more than seven as a civil servant, following three years as a contractor. Williams is...
Anne Ng commenced her civil service career as an intern at the Pentagon Library in 2010. The following year, she completed her first Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students and Recent Graduates...
A member of the Marine Corps since 2002, Gunnery Sgt. Ralph B. DeQuebec has performed key strategic assignments, including deploying to Iraq, supporting over 150...
Stacy J. Gatling has distinguished herself in a variety of civil service positions throughout her 30-year career, including her current position as executive secretary, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory...
Air Force Tech Sgt. Brian A. Williams has served in the U.S. Air Force for 14 years. For the past three years he has served as a military working dog trainer, 87th Security Forces Squadron...
Patricia Barson has been a food service worker at the Utah Exchange, Northwest, Army and Air Force Exchange Service Taco Bell location at Hill Food Court for one year. Confidently and without direction, Barson...
Alexander "Alex" Culbreth has been a grocery department store worker at the Vogelweh Commissary, Germany, for the past four years. He has been instrumental in providing the commissary benefit to the nearly...
Francis Gilroy celebrated 30 years of service with the Defense Contract Audit Agency in September 2015. Prior to joining DCAA, Gilroy worked for the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service. Gilroy exemplifies...
Anthony "Tony" Labath has worked for the Defense Contract Management Agency for eight years and has worked in federal service for 33 years. Labath has played an instrumental role in the development of technical...
Jeffery Kasting has served in the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Support Services, Enterprise Management Services Division, for more than six years. Kasting leverages his expertise in printing design...
Kameelah N. Montgomery has more than 19 years of service with the Defense Department, including six years in uniform with the U.S. Air Force. Currently, she is the acquisitions team lead for the Computer, Electronic...
David R. Andrews brings more than 21 years of military service in the U.S. Air Force to his role supporting the Defense Intelligence Agency for the last three years. As an intelligence strategist in the Mission Support...
Pearl Pearson is assigned as a packer for the Preservation, Packaging, Packing, and Marketing Branch, Defense Logistics Agency, in Oklahoma City. He has worked in this capacity for 23 years. Pearson continuously...
Mamie Rush has supported DoDEA schools for 33 years. An Army spouse, she began working as a kindergarten teacher at Atterbury Elementary School in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1985, she came to Fort Benning...
For more than 30 years, John Lawson has distinguished himself as a valuable asset to the Ballistic Missile and Air Defense Programs. Currently, Lawson serves as the director, Flight Test Engineering for the...
Chad Dennis has served for six years as branch chief for the Global Operations Branch in MS Expeditionary Operations Office, responsible for recruiting and scheduling National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency...
In his 35 years of service, William Sciannella has dedicated the majority of his career to leading technical employees - mostly computer scientists - to achieve innovative successes for a variety of National...
With almost 20 years of service in the U.S. Army, Staff Sgt. Jorge G. Haddock-Santiago serves as the Army Wounded Warrior Program military human resources specialist for the Army’s severely wounded, injured and ill soldiers and veterans and their families and caregivers. As an agent for change, Haddock-Santiago’s genuine concern for all wounded soldiers and veterans shows his full advocacy and commitment to the mission.
As a member of the ride-to-recovery team, Haddock-Santiago has completed more than 2,000 miles of cycling with other wounded soldiers. These rides were in France along the Normandy Coast; from San Francisco to Malibu, Calif.; Germany; Luxembourg and Belgium; and recently from Arlington to Virginia Beach, Va.
Once assigned to the Army Wounded Warrior Program, Haddock-Santiago was placed in the Advocate Support Branch, where he quickly adapted to his new duties and responsibilities. He was immediately responsible for the administrative oversight of more than 350 Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve soldiers enrolled in the program. He was soon assigned greater responsibility for human resources and was quickly sought after as an expert in the field. His knowledge, passion, commitment and drive to advocate for the wounded, ill and injured steered his direction to formulating policy affecting wounded warriors Army-wide.
Haddock-Santiago’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal - three times, Army Achievement Medal -seven times, Good Conduct Medal - sixth award, National Defense Service Medal -twice, Army Expeditionary Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon - three times, Overseas Service Ribbon -six times, Army Service Ribbon, and NATO Medal with two bronze campaign stars.
Army Capt. Mary J. Hubbard has more than 16 years of federal service, including her service in the U.S. Army. Hubbard is the special assistant to the director of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command Software Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., following her service as the military executive officer to the director of the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.
Hubbard works closely with the director to help advance the organization’s priorities by providing support and guidance on strategic initiatives. She demonstrates exceptional judgment, professionalism and poise at all times due to the nature of the role and the proximity to the organization’s leadership. She ably balances these assets with her resiliency, tenacity, intellect and unquestionable ethics.
In addition to her exemplary performance at work, Hubbard was selected as the 2015 Aberdeen Proving Ground Military Volunteer of the Year. She has participated in the eCybermission program, a web-based science, math and technology competition as an online judge and ambassador; worked with local schools during career days to promote student interest in engineering and scientific careers; and started a mentor program to ensure young professionals are mentoring the next generation of leaders.
Hubbard is the recipient of numerous civilian and military awards including the Army Civilian Army Achievement Medal in 2012, Army Superior Unit Award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and Iowa National Guard Commendation Medal with gold Oak Leaf Cluster.
Elham Williams has worked at the Schofield Barracks Soldier Assistance Center in Hawaii for more than ten years - more than seven as a civil servant, following three years as a contractor. Williams is a licensed clinical social worker and embedded behavioral health provider, who serves as therapist for two battalions.
Williams has excelled and inspired her colleagues while serving as a social worker. She has consistently and actively improved the quality of life for soldiers whom she has counseled. Over the past year, she exceeded the workload of all other Schofield Barracks social workers by more than 18 percent and provided therapeutic care for two full battalions, comprising more than 1,500 soldiers, well above the standard of one battalion with 600 - 900 soldiers. Williams’ productivity and high-quality care were key to her clinic’s ability to maintain Tricare "access to care" standards despite only being staffed at 57 percent during that time. Simultaneously, she mentored a social work intern and future Army leader, enabling the intern to gain valuable experience with the full range of EBH clinical activities and dramatically extending EBH care capabilities and outreach.
In addition to her productivity, Williams has applied great creativity to her work. She facilitates an anger management group that she designed and established. This group allows her clinic to provide efficient, evidence-based care for one of the most common symptoms of combat stress.
Williams’ devotion to helping others extends to her personal time. She has volunteered more than 200 hours to the Breakthroughs for Youth at Risk program, helping children and adolescents during times that require critical life decisions.
Anne Ng commenced her civil service career as an intern at the Pentagon Library in 2010. The following year, she completed her first Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students and Recent Graduates with Disabilities (WRP) internship as a librarian in the Technical Library at the Naval War Weapon Center in China Lake, California. In the summer of 2012, Ms. Ng (a WRP summer hire) joined the Conferences, Programs, and Event Management (CPEM) Division, Department of the Navy/Assistant for Administration (DON/AA), in the Pentagon as a conference analyst. Currently, she serves as a CPEM senior management analyst.
Ms. Ng ensures that DON-sponsored conferences are executed in a responsible fiscal manner and that the DON is prudent when sending personnel to conferences hosted by others. Ms. Ng protects the image of the Navy while ensuring fiscal responsibility for the American taxpayers. She handles the most difficult packages requiring the Navy Secretary’s signature for approval. The examination process of conference requests requires expertise in a variety of fields, including defense travel rules and regulations, contracts, procurement, grants, and fiscal and legal matters. The scope of Ms. Ng’s responsibilities touches almost every Navy and Marine Corps organization within DON.
During last year’s Disability Employment Awareness Month, Ms. Ng joined the Honorable Juan Garcia, former Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), as a speaker and role model to demonstrate the power and enrichment of having a diverse workforce. The Department of Labor featured Ms. Ng in the video "WRP Success: The Pentagon." Ms. Ng is the epitome of the WRP program and a perfect testament to why we need the program, why we need a diverse workforce, and why it works.
A member of the Marine Corps since 2002, Gunnery Sgt. Ralph B. DeQuebec has performed key strategic assignments, including deploying to Iraq, supporting over 150 explosive ordnance disposal missions; a State Department mission, supporting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Kinshasa, Congo; and two tours of duty in Afghanistan, engaging in more than 80 dismounted combat patrols during his first tour and providing general support aboard Camp Geronimo during his second tour of duty.
DeQuebec’s military career is marked by distinguished service. He has been awarded several commendations, including a Purple Heart, Navy Achievement Medal with a gold star, Combat Action Ribbon, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation Ribbon, Naval Unit Citation Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal with two bronze stars in lieu of third award, National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze star, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two bronze stars in lieu of third award, and NATO International Security Assistance Force Medal.
From June 2012 to April 2015, DeQuebec exhibited exemplary service as a patient while assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion East Walter Reed Detachment in Bethesda, Md., where he received treatment for combat injuries. He served as an ambassador to the game of sled hockey and performed more than 150 volunteer service hours organizing and conducting park activities for the community. He set the example for other wounded Marines by maintaining a competitive spirit and achieving excellence in this arena of competition. Through his leadership and influence, he introduced three recovering service members to the game of sled hockey, which helped reignite their competitive spark and warrior ethos.
DeQuebec’s leadership, initiative and selfless devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and are consistent with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.
Stacy J. Gatling has distinguished herself in a variety of civil service positions throughout her 30-year career, including her current position as executive secretary, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Materiel Command, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
Throughout her career, Gatling has epitomized the Air Force core values of "integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do." A big part of her success is due to initiative. The accomplishments over her long career show that Gatling constantly aspired to excel and volunteer for opportunities to master new skills and meet exciting challenges. In each new assignment, she found ways to improve and streamline processes to ensure more efficient and accurate accounting and timely responses to requests and deadlines.
Gatling also has a special knack for bringing out the best in others. She always has a kind word and a smile, and she goes out of her way to lift the spirits of supervisors, colleagues, friends and family members. Her determination, strength, caring nature, and enthusiasm are truly inspirational.
Gatling is committed to helping others achieve their goals. As part of her current duties, she mentors and trains other secretaries in the directorate by ensuring they learn current business practices. This commitment to developing skills in others significantly aids mission accomplishment and ensures the organization retains the best talent. She has also been a mentor to the Directorate’s student interns, and many of her mentees eventually came to work full-time for the laboratory.
Air Force Tech Sgt. Brian A. Williams has served in the U.S. Air Force for 14 years. For the past three years he has served as a military working dog trainer, 87th Security Forces Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
Williams has trained 15 military working dog teams, provided explosive detection for 21 U.S. Secret Service missions and resulting in the highest mission tempo in Air Mobility Command. Additionally, he participated in the annual Soldier Ride at the White House, which provided global exposure for all combat wounded warriors, and was coined by the president. Williams was recognized for his leadership by the Carolina Panthers as part of their Salute to the Service campaign, and he was voted the victor of the first American Airman Video Contest.
As a combat wounded warrior ambassador, Williams has been extended the opportunity to speak to the media and increase awareness of combat wounded. He addressed 175 teens on Memorial Day and was a guest on the local television show "Power Your Life" for Veterans Day. In both public events he gave an overview of the challenges men and women face when they return from deployments. Williams conveyed that his main focus was to continue to serve as an active duty airman in the Air Force.
Williams also has committed much time to the community. He helped coach the New Egypt Pee Wee Football team and also teamed with the Force Support Squadron in prepping 22,000 lunches for the Special Olympics, enabling 14,000 personnel to eat at this national event.
Williams is the recipient of numerous medals, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Action Medal.
Patricia Barson has been a food service worker at the Utah Exchange, Northwest, Army and Air Force Exchange Service Taco Bell location at Hill Food Court for one year. Confidently and without direction, Barson knows the required tasks and performs them efficiently to ensure the restaurant is prepared to receive customers.
Barson demonstrates a commitment to excellence and strong customer support by engaging with customers to ensure client satisfaction. Barson strives to know customers well enough to suggest additional items for their purchase.
Barson says, "I want my guests to feel at home whenever they visit Hill Food Court. Since I started working for the exchange, I set little goals for myself every day. I may say to myself I am going to be the very best employee today." Barson was recognized with the Thanks for Serving Award in August of 2014. She consistently receives positive feedback on the service she provides.
In addition to her work at the exchange, Barson is an active member of her community, singing in her church choir. She was honored with an Outstanding Citizen Award by a local community association in Ogden, Utah, for raising funds to support a friend who suffered injuries during a trampoline accident.
Alexander "Alex" Culbreth has been a grocery department store worker at the Vogelweh Commissary, Germany, for the past four years. He has been instrumental in providing the commissary benefit to the nearly 55,000 authorized shoppers in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. He is responsible for maintaining shelf stock levels of the bulk water and the entire grab-n-go sections.
Culbreth makes it a habit to greet all patrons and coworkers with a smile and always has a committed "can-do" attitude. Throughout his career, he has received accolades, both written and verbal, praising the exemplary services he provides. His hard work is noticed by fellow employees, who have commented numerous times on the substantial increase to their workloads when Culbreth is not on duty.
In addition to his busy schedule at the commissary, Culbreth is active in the KMC. He spends more than 50 hours a month volunteering in the thrift shop for the Ramstein Enlisted Spouses Association. He has volunteered at various community outreach events sponsored by RESA including the deployed families annual picnic, deployment buddy picnic, fresh-squeezed lemonade stand, and assisted with food service for the Tops in Blues performers during their tours through the KMC.
Francis Gilroy celebrated 30 years of service with the Defense Contract Audit Agency in September 2015. Prior to joining DCAA, Gilroy worked for the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service.
Gilroy exemplifies DCAA’s commitment to professional excellence and taxpayer savings by coordinating with overseas customers and on-site auditors at multiple Afghanistan contractor sites; collaborating with on-site auditors and contractor personnel to sustain cost reductions in company-wide healthcare benefits; and advancing audit resourcefulness at a major defense contractor, resulting in significant labor system efficiency recommendations.
In addition to performing his auditing duties in an exemplary manner, Gilroy serves as a member of the Greater Boston Special Emphasis Program Managers Coalition. In this role, he demonstrates leadership and innovation by proactively addressing workplace accommodation issues and reducing barriers facing individuals with disabilities. Gilroy expands employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities as a valued member of DCAA’s recruitment cadre and encourages management officials to capitalize on the skills, experiences and contributions of a diverse and agile workforce. He enhances the prestige of his audit agency as a model employer by participating in planning awareness workshops and related observances for individuals with disabilities.
Gilroy has been honored with the DCAA Equal Employment Opportunity Performance Award, the Boston Federal Executive Board’s Non-Manager Diversity Performance Award, the Boston Federal Executive Board’s Outstanding Friend to the Disabilities Program, and numerous letters of commendation and performance awards for audit excellence, Equal Employment Opportunity activity, and as an advisor to management.
Anthony "Tony" Labath has worked for the Defense Contract Management Agency for eight years and has worked in federal service for 33 years.
Labath has played an instrumental role in the development of technical pricing support policy and training for DCMA, HQ Engineering and Analysis Directorate. His field experience and insight has been invaluable as the agency codified the requirements for engineering support to the contracting community. This support includes technical evaluations of contractor proposals as well as a new area of technical pricing support to the divisional administrative contracting officers in the development of forward pricing rates that are important to the acquisition community across the Defense Department.
Labath has also been instrumental to the development and improvement of the technical pricing support interim training deployed by the agency. He also teaches interim courses offered by the agency, including assuming the role of lead instructor for two virtual courses.
A team player in every sense of the term, Labath is always willing to provide assistance when needed and spends much of his time mentoring office mates. He is the epitome of a selfless civil servant. His work ethic and professionalism are models for others, and he embodies the agency’s core values of service, integrity and excellence. His passion and commitment for excellence, innovation and teamwork are truly extraordinary, and his positive impact is expansive and enduring.
Jeffery Kasting has served in the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Support Services, Enterprise Management Services Division, for more than six years.
Kasting leverages his expertise in printing design and computer programming to develop forms for organizations across DFAS. He regularly consults with the information and technology, leveraging technology, and knowledge management offices to collaborate on new or revised formatting. He also regularly advises the DFAS operations directorate on potential changes or modifications to Defense Department and General Services Administration forms used across nearly every DoD organization. In fiscal year 2014, Kasting developed or revised 81 forms and consulted on dozens more. In the first four months of fiscal year 2015, he developed or updated 82 forms.
Kasting recently obtained his Green Belt for redesigning and streamlining the current DFAS publication development and publishing process. He was part of a team that developed a set of standard DFAS publication templates and implemented instructions that lead developers through the fundamentals of drafting and formatting publications. As a result of these changes, the Forms and Publications Office is available to customers for questions throughout publication development but only needs to see the document for formatting at the final approval and signature stage. These changes ultimately saved many labor hours which have been repurposed in a budget-constrained environment.
Kasting is a faithful, committed, resilient, humble, caring, dedicated and highly valued member of the support services team. In addition, he has been active in the greater Indianapolis community since 1988, including lending support to the School of Nursing at the University of Indianapolis.
Kameelah N. Montgomery has more than 19 years of service with the Defense Department, including six years in uniform with the U.S. Air Force. Currently, she is the acquisitions team lead for the Computer, Electronic Accommodations Program, an award-winning DoD program that provides free assistive technology to federal employees with disabilities at 68 federal partnering agencies and to service members who are wounded, ill, injured or have functional limitations.
As the largest assistive technology program in the world, CAP relies on the acquisition team lead to oversee thousands of procurement actions each year. In her role, Montgomery provides oversight to seven contract support staff and one government staff member. In the performance year recently completed, she managed and accounted for 16,929 procurement actions totaling $7,480,218.93 - a new record in CAP’s 25-year history. Furthermore, she ensured that purchase methods were identified and requests processed well ahead of the established goal, resulting in customers receiving their accommodation in an expeditious manner. She also serves as the contracting officer representative on 51 blanket purchase agreements and 20 purchase orders.
Montgomery displays commitment to quality and helps other individuals, including her supervisor, teams, and offices achieve higher quality in their work. The accuracy and thoroughness of her work are exceptionally reliable. She is scrupulous in pursuit of accuracy, which lessens risk for the program and customers. Reviews of her work, including those by outside auditors, substantiate a high degree of accuracy and the ability to apply complex Federal acquisition requirements to a high-volume, high-visibility federal program.
David R. Andrews brings more than 21 years of military service in the U.S. Air Force to his role supporting the Defense Intelligence Agency for the last three years.
As an intelligence strategist in the Mission Support Division, Intelligence Directorate, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, Andrews built new foreign disclosure processes to enhance information sharing. He worked with the command-level foreign disclosure officer to build sustainable processes to share national intelligence with allies and partners in a timely, secure manner. Andrews crafted an enhanced access process that reassured national intelligence partners while allowing designated foreign officers within the command to access more non-releasable classified intelligence. This enhanced access approval process became the standard for DIA, DoD, and the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Andrews also took the initiative to improve wounded warrior integration into civilian positions within DIA. He met with DIA senior leaders and briefed the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on wounded warrior integration into DoD civilian jobs. He worked with the DIA Equal Employment Office to ensure wounded warriors had access tools necessary to completely rejoin the workforce, bringing unique perspectives and capability to the defense of the nation.
Andrews has received coin awards from the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was coined by the secretary of defense and secretary of Veterans Affairs. Andrews was recognized by the DIA director with a Joint Civilian Achievement Award. While serving in uniform, he was decorated with a Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint and Service Commendation and Achievement Medals.
Pearl Pearson is assigned as a packer for the Preservation, Packaging, Packing, and Marketing Branch, Defense Logistics Agency, in Oklahoma City. He has worked in this capacity for 23 years.
Pearson continuously meets or exceeds expectations daily. His efforts ensure that the PPP&M Branch completes all assigned tasks, details or special assignments in a timely and efficient manner, while at the same time maintaining top-notch quality and quantity. More specifically, Pearson has continuously been one of the section’s top performers over the past year, packing 4,657 work orders, consisting of 5,412 items, all while maintaining a zero discrepancy rating. His productivity represented 10.1 percent of the work orders and 16.8 percent of the items packed over the past year, ranking him in the top one percent of his coworkers.
Pearson’s outstanding performance and demonstrated professionalism, enthusiasm and attention to detail have made him an integral part of the PPP&M packing team, as well as a highly productive member of DLA Distribution Oklahoma City team. His abilities are unsurpassed among his peers, who strive to emulate his performance. Pearson is not only a highly valuable member of the PPP&M team but also an employee that supervisors would love to have work for them.
Pearson has volunteered to train more than 10 new employees per the standard operating procedures and job breakdown sheets. All his trainees have stated that they received the best training and learned the most when Pearson trained them.
Mamie Rush has supported DoDEA schools for 33 years. An Army spouse, she began working as a kindergarten teacher at Atterbury Elementary School in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1985, she came to Fort Benning, joining Patch Elementary School as a first-grade teacher. In 1987, she moved to Frank R. Loyd Elementary School and worked for two school years as a first-grade teacher, eventually transitioning to a kindergarten teacher. In 2008, when the new principal discovered Rush’s talent for singing, she was approached to become the music teacher.
The music program has flourished under Rush’s leadership, particularly through an after-school choir program serving more than 70 students. The choir performs in numerous post and community events, including an annual Christmas concert; the opening for a local hockey team; post Hispanic Heritage Month activities; the National Infantry Museum’s Soldier’s 2014 marathon; "The Nutcracker" play at the prestigious River Center Stage in Columbus, Ga.; the Fort Benning Army Band’s Christmas concert; and performances for children at the Army hospital. Most recently, the choir participated in the Muscogee County Relay for Life, an event to raise money for cancer research.
Because she teaches music from the heart, Rush demonstrates enthusiasm and passion for instilling an appreciation for music in her students.
For more than 30 years, John Lawson has distinguished himself as a valuable asset to the Ballistic Missile and Air Defense Programs. Currently, Lawson serves as the director, Flight Test Engineering for the Missile Defense Agency. Prior to joining MDA, he served in the U.S. Navy.
Lawson’s experience encompasses systems engineering, test and assessment, program management, and weapon system maintenance and repair. Lawson’s naval career involved operations at sea, both land attack and ballistic missile defense versions of the Standard Missile, Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile; operational testing of the DDG-51 Gun Weapon System; and fielding the TOMAHAWK Weapons Control System. After his retirement from the U.S. Navy with a distinguished career, culminating with an assignment to MDA Test and Assessment, Lawson joined the MDA as a federal civilian in 2003.
Lawson is widely recognized by the MDA leadership and his peers as an expert for BMDS test and is often sought out to solve complex issues. He has worked closely with the Directorate of Test to define the approved test configuration for each test; ensured entrance and exit were met for each test phase transition; and helped the BMDS Operational Test Agency collect test data to baseline their operational assessment of the system. Lawson’s guidance and commitment to the Aegis BMD and ground-based midcourse systems were a direct result of the success of a series of flight tests that supported production and demonstrated today’s missile defense capabilities. Lawson’s contributions reflect great credit upon himself, the Missile Defense Agency, and the Defense Department.
In carrying out his duties, Lawson fosters a spirit of cooperation with element and MDA test teams, while ensuring that any changes made to test execution activities are still consistent with system requirements.
Chad Dennis has served for six years as branch chief for the Global Operations Branch in MS Expeditionary Operations Office, responsible for recruiting and scheduling National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employees to deploy in support of the Agency’s mission. Davis also served as a U.S. Army infantry officer for more than 20 years.
Dennis is responsible for overseeing the lifecycle of NGA’s deployment process. He is an exceptionally resourceful leader who networks expertly across the agency at all levels to harness the expertise and consensus needed to resolve complex mission-related issues. His innovative spirit and engaging nature have allowed him to build teams and programs with great success and to work with his branch, other branch chiefs, MS leadership and NGA seniors to innovate and improve NGA’s deployment process.
In addition, Dennis has created a network of colleagues at other DoD and intelligence community organizations, enabling NGA to routinely maximize the value of these intra-agency deployment interactions. Dennis and his team have a 100 percent record of manning deployed positions. This efficiency ensures the best qualified NGA analysts in support of mission partners and the warfighter.
As a retired U.S. Army infantry officer, Dennis has received the following honors: Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal -three times, Army Commendation Medal -twice, Army Achievement Medal -twice, Army Superior Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Iraq Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Multi-National Force Observers Medal, Combat Infantrymen’s Badge, Expert Infantrymen's Badge, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Wings, Pathfinder Badge and Air Assault Wings.
In his 35 years of service, William Sciannella has dedicated the majority of his career to leading technical employees - mostly computer scientists - to achieve innovative successes for a variety of National Security Agency missions. Currently, Sciannella is a successful manager at NSA.
In his professional career, he is known as a truly outstanding employee. Sciannella was one of only five individuals selected by the deputy director of NSA to stand up the NSA/CSS Threat Operations Center in 2005. He defined the Engineering Support Office, developed its mission and functions, and served as its first leader from 2005 to 2007. In 2009, Sciannella took over a struggling, nonperforming office that was burdened with legacy reporting and dissemination systems.
As the chief, Sciannella championed the transformation of this office into a high-performing one-stop shop for 21st century reporting and dissemination capabilities. Through his vision, aggressive recruiting and innovative methodologies, he not only was responsible for the retirement of at least 10 legacy systems but also oversaw the creation of two revolutionary systems that changed the way NSA reports intelligence and the way external customers view NSA’s intelligence reports. In the spring of 2014, Sciannella was selected to establish a new organization responsible for cloud operations and other NSA mission infrastructure services.
Sciannella is also a champion for people with disabilities both at NSA and across the intelligence community. Throughout his career, Sciannella initiated innovative solutions, applied his leadership skills and invested his mentoring talents to reduce barriers and maximize the contributions of persons with disabilities. As an employee with a disability, he is also a very visible role model, especially for employees in technical work roles.
"During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we celebrate the ways individuals with disabilities strengthen our workforce, our communities, and our country."
Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a time to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for this year — which marks 70 years since the first observance — is "My Disability is One Part of Who I Am."
In 1945, Congress declared the first week in October each year National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word "physically" was deleted to acknowledge the needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
This year's theme, "My Disability is One Part of Who I Am," encapsulates the important message that people with disabilities are just that — people," said Jennifer Sheehy, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. "And like all people, we are the sum of many parts, including our work experiences. Disability is an important perspective we bring to the table, but, of course, it's not the only one."
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was the first major legislative effort to secure an equal playing field for individuals with disabilities. This legislation provided a wide range of services for persons with physical and cognitive disabilities. These disabilities can create significant barriers to full and continued employment, the pursuit of independent living, self-determination, and inclusion in American society.
In 2001, Congress established the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities to ensure that they are fully integrated into the workforce.
In 1954, Congress passed the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Amendments, increasing the scope of the VR system. VR helps thousands of people obtain employment. Mary Switzer, Director of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation at the time, funds more than 100 university-based rehabilitation programs. The Act also initiates funding for research, eventually leading to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
For the purpose of federal nondiscrimination laws, the federal government defines a person with a disability as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.
What is Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act? Section 501 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in Federal employment and requires Federal agencies to establish affirmative action plans for the hiring, placement, and advancement of people with disabilities in Federal employment.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate during June 2014 dropped from 6.3 to 6.1 percent. The unemployment rate among people with disabilities was 12.9 percent. Among people with disabilities, 19.3 percent were in the labor force, compared to 69.2 percent of people without disabilities.
Daniel Inouye was born and raised in Hawaii. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat team, made up of soldiers of Japanese ancestry. After losing his right arm in battle in 1945, he was honorably discharged in 1947, earning a Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart, among other awards. He became Hawaii’s first congressman when it became a state in 1959. In 1962, he was first elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served for almost 50 years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15 percent of workers with a disability were employed in federal, state, or local government, nearly equal to the percent of government workers with no disability (14 percent).
Jim Langevin was the first quadriplegic to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. At 16, he was injured while in the Boy Scout Explorer program working with a local police department. He was hit by a bullet and paralyzed when a gun accidentally discharged. Inspired by the community support he received, he decided to enter public service. In 2000, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1975, President Gerald Ford signs the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA), which requires public schools to provide a “free appropriate public education” to all students, including those with disabilities. The Act is renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990, and amendments in 1997 add a focus on transition outcomes for students with disabilities exiting high school and pursuing post-secondary options, including employment.
The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 mandates the removal of what is perceived to be the most significant obstacle to employment for people with disabilities—the physical design of the buildings and facilities—by requiring that all buildings designed, constructed, altered or leased with federal funds be made accessible.
"What is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act? Section 504 prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in any federally funded programs or activities. Section 504 requires that programs receiving Federal funds to be accessible to people with disabilities. Section 504 also prohibits disability-based job discrimination of any kind and requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities."
In 1995, the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) for College Students with Disabilities is established as a partnership between the U.S. Departments of Labor and Defense. This referral program connects public- and private-sector employers nationwide with highly motivated postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their talents and skills in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996—the first revision of telecommunications law since the 1930s—requires telecommunications manufacturers and service providers to ensure that equipment is designed, developed and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable. At its signing, President Bill Clinton addresses technology’s growing role in all aspects of life, including employment.
On June 22, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiffs were two women who had mental illness and developmental disabilities. They had been voluntarily admitted to the psychiatric unit of a state-run hospital but were held for several years after their initial treatment.
Established in 1989, the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) has been providing federal employees with disabilities and service members with functional limitations free assistive technology and support services. On May 20, 2015 CAP made its 150,000th accommodation.
The Assistive Technology Act of 2004 amends previous iterations to reflect developments in technology in all aspects of community life, including employment. Among other things, it requires states to provide direct aid to people with disabilities to ensure they have access to the technology they need, at both home and work, and authorizes the development of alternative financing mechanisms to help in doing so.
Reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.
"What is Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act? Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees and the general public with disabilities have access to and use of information that is comparable to access to and use of information by people without disabilities."
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are dogs trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. This includes guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, and calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during an anxiety attack. The tasks a dog has been trained to perform must be directly related to the person’s disability.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. Modeled on the Civil Rights Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA stems from collective efforts by advocates in the preceding decades and is the most comprehensive disability rights legislation in history.
In 2010, on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, President Barack Obama signs Executive Order 13548 – Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. This directive calls on federal departments and agencies to increase the recruitment, hiring and retention of people with disabilities.
In 1992, a growing number of leading businesses recognize disability as a key part of diversity and incorporate it into their workplace inclusion initiatives. Reflecting this, many join forces to establish state and local business leadership networks—groups of business leaders and human resource executives focused on increasing disability inclusion, from both an employment and consumer perspective.
In 1988, the “President’s Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped” becomes the “President’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities.” A year later, President George H.W. Bush appoints Justin W. Dart Jr. as its chairman. Congress also expands “National Employ the Handicapped Week” to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” which is recognized now each October.
"The final regulations associated with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 are approved by a bipartisan vote and published in the Federal Register. The amendment makes important changes to the definition of the term “disability” under the ADA, and make it easier for a person seeking protection under the law to establish eligibility."
In 1935, Congress passed and President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, establishing federal old-age benefits and grants to the states for assistance to blind individuals and children with disabilities. The act also extends the already existing vocational rehabilitation programs established by earlier legislation.
In 2010, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Department of Labor inducts disability activists Justin W. Dart Jr. and Helen Keller into the Labor Hall of Honor.
In the 1950s, veterans with disabilities and other people with disabilities begin the barrier-free movement. The combined efforts of the U.S. Veterans Administration, the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped and the National Easter Seals Society, among others, result in the development of national standards for "barrier-free" buildings.
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DoD Officials Attend Disability Awards Ceremony