DOD Holds Annual Disability Awards Ceremony
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2012 The 32nd Annual Department of Defense Disability Awards Ceremony was hosted yesterday by Frederick E. Vollrath, performing the duties of assistant secretary of defense for readiness and force management, in the Pentagon Auditorium, according to a Department of Defense news release.
The annual event provides an overview of DOD disability policy and initiatives, recognizes DOD organizations for their efforts in the employment of individuals with disabilities, and highlights the accomplishments of DOD employees with disabilities and wounded, ill, or injured service members.
"Diversity is essential and has been a key to the success of our armed forces and civilian workforce," Vollrath said. "When we embrace a range of talent and perspective, our ability to defend our nation grows stronger."
Kareem A. Dale, special assistant to the president for disability policy was the keynote speaker and expanded upon this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month's theme, "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?"
DOD's Director of Disability Programs Stephen King also spoke at the ceremony.
"The bottom line is America must employ the talents, skills, and capabilities of incredibly bright and productive citizens -- both in and out of uniform -- who want to serve our country," King said. "People with disabilities often face unique challenges; we need that type of problem-solving ability and skill in the workplace."
The following 17 DOD employees with disabilities and wounded, ill, or injured service members received secretary of defense awards for their outstanding contributions to national security:
-- David L. Miller, Department of the Army;
-- Army Staff Sgt. Alexander Shaw;
-- Army Staff Sgt. Donald G. Sistrunk;
-- Bruce Baraw, Department of the Navy;
-- Marine Corps Sgt. Julian P. Torres;
-- Air Force Capt. Ryan McGuire;
-- LaVonne Rosenthal, National Guard Bureau;
-- Grayson J. Colegrove, Army and Air Force Exchange Service;
-- Billy W. Bowens, Defense Commissary Agency;
-- Thomas G. Pisoni, Defense Contract Audit Agency;
-- Samson Isaacs, Defense Contract Management Agency;
-- Edward L. Bright, Defense Finance and Accounting Service;
-- Sarah E. Gunn, Defense Intelligence Agency;
-- John A. Clark Jr., Defense Logistics Agency;
-- Carl Doeler, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and
-- Julia G. Orth, National Security Agency.
The Department of the Air Force, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Technical Information Center and the National Security Agency received secretary of defense awards for their outstanding achievements in the employment of individuals with disabilities.