Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    DCSA Leaders Emphasize Importance of Wellness, Resiliency Programs

    DCSA Leaders Emphasize Importance of Wellness, Resiliency Programs

    Photo By Christopher Gillis | Richard Rennolds – Human Capital Management Office (HCMO) chief at the Defense...... read more read more

    SPRINGFIELD, Va. – How does the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) confront some of the harder topics related to workforce wellness and resilience?

    Richard Rennolds, chief of DCSA Human Capital Management Office (HCMO), responded to the moderator’s question as a virtual audience across the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (OUSD I&S) and its partner agencies listened along with all attending the OUSD I&S sponsored Stand-Down for Wellness Town Hall in person at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Allder Auditorium on Nov. 30.

    “I love DCSA because we start talking about wellness in the onboarding process,” Rennolds told the audience while speaking as a panel member at the event with ‘Building Resilience Through Wellness’ as the theme. “We start talking about resilience and psychological safety as we onboard people. We have a two-week dedicated new employee experience (NEX) that starts with a sponsor they get from their work unit. That sponsorship transitions to an incredible new employee orientation team who is streaming these concepts of psychological safety. It covers what to expect when you get into the workplace, what to demand from your supervisors, being critical in the performance management process, and being part of that conversation.”

    NEX provides a streamlined and guided training program for new employees as they are introduced to the agency and its strategic objectives while completing DCSA’s initial and annual mandatory training through a series of interactive activities.

    “NEX is key. It’s when you walk in the door and that group is connected for a year. They're doing exercises across those (wellness and resiliency) themes that come up and some of these topics are hard,” said Rennolds. “In a judgment free zone, when you're talking about things like psychological safety and resilience, you're going to get into some topics that get pretty heavy, pretty quickly - so we don't avoid them. If they get to the point where it seems like someone needs mental health support – we have an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) with folks dedicated to it as well as a Wellness Program manager and Employee Relations team.”

    The Employee Assistance Program is available to employees who would like help resolving personal and family problems, which leads to happier and healthier living with increased productivity at work and at home. The Magellan Healthcare EAP and Work Life Program is a benefit to DCSA employees and their eligible family members. The Magellan Healthcare EAP is a confidential counseling and referral service that can assist employees and their families deal successfully with life’s challenges. Initial EAP services are available to employees at no cost.

    “So, from the minute you get in the door you have leadership development opportunities, and these (wellness and resiliency) themes are consistent in addition to supervisory training. We have a very robust coaching and mentoring program. EAP seminars are also conducted every month on different topics,” Rennolds explained while speaking on the panel discussion’s theme: ‘Developing Workforce Wellness and Support Resources in the Defense Intelligence Components’.

    Rennolds as a panel discussion member and DCSA Acting Director Daniel Lecce – as one of several Defense Intelligence and Security Enterprise guest speakers – outlined DCSA’s Resilience and Wellness Programs while addressing specific wellness and resiliency topics for the audience.

    “The constitution is what makes this nation great. None of us do this critically important work for recognition or credit. We do it because of the bond with our nation, our agencies, and with each other because we know that at the end of our work – regardless of what we do – there's a warfighter in harm's way,” Lecce told the audience. “Carrying this incredible obligation day in and day out requires a very focused and dedicated effort. Combine this with maintaining a work life balance can take a great toll.”

    At that point, he asked a question: What are we doing at DCSA to combat this toll?

    “Our number one priority is culture. Building a people focused, values driven culture,” said Lecce, answering his question. “It’s important to report metrics every day but metrics are not the most important thing – people, mission, service, integrity and innovation is what drives this agency.”

    He went on to note that the agency’s leaders understand they must be invested in their workforce and their people.

    “They are responsible and accountable for the welfare and the performance of their team. Establishing a trust bond is essential,” said Lecce. “We've instituted a robust leadership training, development, coaching and mentoring program beginning at the GG-7 level to ensure they have all the tools necessary and support they need to develop as leaders. We instituted a robust diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility strategy and policies to ensure that all are included.”

    He emphasized: “No one is an island. Everybody has somebody. Everybody is on the team.”

    Moreover, Lecce described the importance and impact of physical fitness on wellbeing, resiliency and productivity.

    “We have instituted a Health and Wellness program encouraging and promoting physical fitness and resiliency by allowing the maximum time for wellness activities throughout the workday,” he said. “We take very seriously our solemn obligation to defend our national security but equally, we take seriously the obligation to support each other – to build teams based on trust and to be the best we can be personally and professionally – body and mind.”

    In their respective remarks, Lecce and Rennolds referenced myriad efforts and strategies impacting wellness and resiliency at DCSA to help create a work environment that supports employees in managing stress and adversity in addition to the development of skills necessary to adapt and thrive in challenging situations.

    “Our mental health efforts do make a difference,” said Ronald Moultrie, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, in his closing remarks. “It really is encouraging for me to look out and see all of you - leaders in our community, the future of our community, people who are serving and doing the work that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin believes is the most important work that we can do – keeping our nation safe. God Bless you. I look forward to engaging you on this topic.”



    As DCSA builds its culture throughout the geographically dispersed agency, a culture of resiliency and wellness, focused on the agency’s people is under ongoing development.

    With all the changes DCSA endured over the last few years, from transition to new leaders, to COVID, to the increased operational tempo, DCSA leadership recognizes there are various stressors involved that can negatively impact people mentally and physically, at home and at work.

    To address some of the stressors caused by these changes, DCSA implemented policies and programs with a top-down approach, to ensure the building and sustainment of a resilient and healthy workforce able to overcome adversity and meet challenges head on.

    Promoting resiliency across the agency requires a holistic approach and with that in mind, DCSA is looking at the following areas and initiatives to keep the agency’s workforce in top notch condition:


    DCSA training, education, and professional development programs include learning content regarding resilience, stress management, and coping strategies. These programs also include skills like stress management, adaptive thinking, and effective problem-solving in ambiguous situations. The DCSA approach includes equipping employees, supervisors and managers with the skills to manage change; recognize signs of stress in their teams; offer support and foster a resilient work culture. DCSA focuses on continuous learning opportunities, professional development, leadership training and coaching as a mechanism to promote resilience.

    As part of the agency’s Personnel Security mission, DCSA sponsored an aggressive campaign led by its Consolidated Adjudication Services mission to educate the industry and federal audience on mental health treatment and security clearances.


    Encouraging team-building activities and social events to strengthen bonds among employees, fostering a support network within the workplace. DCSA accomplishes this though cross organizational learning programs, offsites, and employee resources groups.


    Creating a culture where employees feel comfortable discussing their challenges and seeking help. This includes encouraging open communication, supporting risk-taking and innovation, and providing resources for employee well-being and development.


    Understanding everyone reacts to stressors differently and implementing programs and policies that can take care of everyone. This has included updated workplace flexibilities to help employees balance work and personal life, reducing stress and burnout:
    • Telework
    • Remote Work
    • Flexible Meal Period Options
    • Increased Flexibility in Work Schedules
    • Civilian Fitness and Wellness Program


    Allows an additional option for employees to support necessary absences to tend to their mental and physical wellbeing.


    Encouraging physical health through fitness programs, health screenings, and wellness challenges, as physical health is closely linked to mental resilience.


    Acknowledging and rewarding resilience and positive coping strategies among employees.



    Date Taken: 12.21.2023
    Date Posted: 12.21.2023 14:19
    Story ID: 460595
    Location: US

    Web Views: 397
    Downloads: 0