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Leaders refresh equal opportunity skills Sgt. Alyssa N. Gunton

Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr. gives opening remarks on the significance of the equal opportunity senior leadership workshop Jan. 30 at the Ocean Breeze on Camp Foster. Glueck emphasized the importance of understanding one’s self and realizing how individual biases and prejudices can be harmful unless everyone is aware of them and how they impact the effectiveness of leadership, as well as the Marine Corps’ combat readiness. Glueck is the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force. (Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Keith E. Turner)

CAMP FOSTER, Japan - Senior leaders from different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs sit together in no particular order. Without prejudice, all are joined by a common thread — their sense of service to country.

The Marine Corps Base Camp Butler and Marine Corps Installations Pacific equal opportunity offices hosted an equal opportunity senior leadership workshop at the Ocean Breeze on Camp Foster Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. The workshop was held to refresh leaders’ knowledge on overcoming issues, such as stereotypes and personality conflicts in a diverse work environment.

“We make them ask themselves if their decisions are fair or based on some bias,” said Gunnery Sgt. Darrell W. Clark, an equal opportunity adviser with MCIPAC. “We also believe it is important to remember what it was like when (Marines) were a lower rank.”

The workshop focused on stereotypes commonly associated with a person’s skin color or gender, according to Clark. A common problem in society is that people cannot see past superficial differences and preconceived biases to the benefits of diversity.

“The truth is, diversity is good for the Marine Corps,” said Clark. “It allows different skill sets and experiences to integrate into one mix that can work together to better accomplish the mission.”

The workshop encouraged leaders to remember that people come from different backgrounds and never make a decision based on prejudice or face value, but with fair treatment in mind and on a level playing field.

“A lot of people come from a society brimming with prejudice,” said Navy Capt. Brenda B. Davila, the command chaplain for MCIPAC. “We have to look past that prejudice and work together in order to make progress in tearing down these walls that have been built between us.”

The equal opportunity advisers who organized the workshop used interactive exercises to encourage leaders to think about stereotypes associated with certain people and determine how to rise above them and maintain a neutral mindset. This allowed them to make more calculated rational decisions in order to complete the exercise.

“If we take what we learned during this workshop and use it, we will be a lot better for it,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Tanis, the chaplain for Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, MCIPAC. “Classes like this help break down preconceived (notions and) misconceptions we have about one another.”

The course ended with a graduation ceremony, and the leaders returned to their daily routines, now equipped with more knowledge and experience to draw on to ensure fairness and equal opportunity when leading their Marines.


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This work, Leaders refresh equal opportunity skills, by LCpl David Hersey, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:02.01.2013

Date Posted:02.13.2013 23:21



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