EXCERPT: America relies on the U.S. Coast Guard to preserve our Nation’s maritime safety, security and stewardship. To ensure we remain Ready, Relevant, and Responsive, we must continue to recruit and retain a highly skilled total workforce that reflects the people we serve. Diverse representation alone will not increase our readiness if we do not retain our diverse total workforce. Inclusion in the workplace drives employee engagement and is paramount for attracting and retaining employees.
MARAD and NNOA establishes a framework for a cooperative relationship to support the achievement of mutual goals
On Thursday, July 2, 2020, the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations. Maritime Administrator RADM (Ret) Mark H. Buzby, USN and National Naval Officer Association National President RADM (Ret) Sinclair Harris, USN signed this historic MOU in a ceremony in front of the Department of Transportation Headquarters Building in Washington, DC. This MOU, which is the first of its kind between MARAD and NNOA, establishes a framework for a cooperative relationship between NNOA and MARAD to support the achievement of mutual goals. These goals include:
- Providing personal and professional development, mentorship, training opportunities, and career enhancing programs for maritime academy cadets and midshipmen and other maritime personnel
- Advancing and supporting the diversity initiatives at the Maritime Administration, United States Merchant Marine Academy (“USMMA”), State Maritime Academies (“SMA”) and throughout the Maritime Industry
- Working cooperatively and collaboratively to foster continued interest throughout America’s maritime industries as viable career paths for future generations
- Establishing and maintaining a positive image of the U.S. Merchant Marine and domestic maritime industries; and
- Enhancing awareness of the Maritime Administration, USMMA and the SMAs as prospective educational pathways for diverse segments of the Nation’s population
Dignitaries at Thursday’s ceremony included the following:
- RADM (Ret) Mark H. Buzby, USN – Administrator, Maritime Administration
- RADM (Ret) Sinclair Harris, USN – President, National Naval Officers Association
- Mr. Kevin Tokarski, Senior Executive Service, Associate Administrator for Strategic Sealift, Maritime Administration
- CAPT (Ret) Thomas Abernethy, USN – President, Washington DC, Chapter of the National Naval Officers Association
- Dr. Shashi Kumar, Senior Executive Service, National Coordinator Maritime Education and Training, Maritime Administration
- CAPT (Ret) Jerome D. Davis, SC, USN – Secretary, Washington, DC Chapter of the National Naval Officers Association
- CAPT (Ret) Mark OMalley, USCG, Chief, Division of Operations Support, Maritime Administration
Special mention must also be made for Mr. Kevin Tokarski (MARAD), Mr. Daryl Hart, Director, Office of Civil Rights (MARAD) and CDR Michael Files, USN (NNOA) for the heavy lifting work they did in helping to make this historic MOU happen – Bravo Zulu!
How will that happen?
I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, 100 years from the beginning of the American Civil War and five generations removed from slavery.
Our Heritage: Slavery and More
For the United States, slavery remains an albatross: from 1619, when 20 African slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, through the profound words of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, that “All men are created equal”; and on to the war that began April 12, 1861.The nation slaughtered itself over the question of slavery: 620,000 dead; our worst-ever toll of casualties. On the other hand, many slaves were freed for the first time in American history, although their unfulfilled promise of 40 acres of land and a mule made it pseudo-freedom at best.