JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. –
Commanders across Joint Base Andrews gathered to thank committee members for each of the 2023 Department of Defense-approved Cultural Observances and Awareness Events, Nov. 30.
This year, committee members for each observance were intentionally organized from different units on base to strengthen relationships, involvement, and inclusion among mission partners.
“It was important for us to incorporate all tenant units across JBA to feel a part of each observance event,” said Col. Todd E. Randolph, 316th Wing and installation commander. “Thank you to the commanders for picking high-caliber individuals to lead these events, and thank you to those who organized such high-caliber events with renown speakers and fun events to drive attendance and a sense of community across base.”
Randolph noted that attendance for 2023 observance events tripled from the previous year, all thanks to the hard work by each committee member. Randolph also handed out certificates of appreciation, and personnel were charged to keep the progress going.
“There is still work to be done,” said Randolph. “Stay committed to promoting that our diversity is a strength. Everyone is welcome here, and it’s important for us to recognize that everyone has a story.”
Maj. Gen. Daniel A. DeVoe, Air Force District of Washington commander, was also in attendance with his Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Charmaine Kelley, and thanked everyone for leading the charge on promoting diversity and inclusion across the installation.
“The DOD prioritizes observance and awareness events to help us better understand one another,” DeVoe said. “Thank you for stepping up to represent your units and dedicating time to educate your fellow service members on the importance of our diversity.”
Some of this year’s events included a keynote speech from the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon “CZ” Colon-Lopez to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, a panel of female service members to discuss their experiences in uniform for Women’s History Month, and a large festival celebrating Pride Month, among others.