“A high quality workforce makes us strong, a high quality diverse workforce makes us stronger.”

That message from Clarence Johnson, the Department of Defense’s director of the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, highlighted the importance of exposing minority institutions to opportunities with the DOD. To achieve that mission, “Taking the Pentagon to the People,” a two-day outreach event, was held on campus at Oakwood University Aug. 30-31 with local officials, higher education administrators and Team Redstone leadership participating.

“It’s a well-known fact that a diverse workforce yields increased productivity and enhances innovation which results in increased value,” Maj. Gen. Allan Elliott, Army Materiel Command deputy chief of staff, said. “Whether it is company sales or Soldiering, a diverse workforce contributes to the readiness of our warfighters in helping them to be successful in the many challenges and missions of our nation across the globe.”

“Taking the Pentagon to the People” gives the DOD the opportunity to engage face-to face with the future of their workforce, while giving students an opportunity to plan their post-collegiate future.

Johnson said that when creating the initiative, a main objective was to showcase the DOD and its capabilities and opportunities.

“We are here because we want you to understand what the DOD has to offer,” he said.

Max Wyche, Army Materiel Command deputy chief of staff for personnel, G-1, presented an overview of the major command which calls Redstone Arsenal home. He told the students that although AMC is one of three primary Army commands, 95 percent of its workforce are civilians, not Soldiers, which opens up diverse career opportunities.

“You can serve your country out of uniform,” Wyche said.

With the global challenges that the DOD is facing, there is a need to recruit the best and the brightest in a range of roles to defend the country. “Taking the Pentagon to the People” provides a partnership that will enhance and nurture that talent pool.

“The department needs all hands on deck,” Johnson said.

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