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Command Climate Specialists Attend Equal Opportunity Training Summit Story Number: NNS150731-01Release Date: 7/31/2015 7:28:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Karolina A. Oseguera, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A military equal opportunity professional development training summit was held on Naval Air Station North Island July 28-30 for command climate specialists (CCS). 

The summit was a three-day event aimed to enhance a command's ability to assess the Command Managed Equal Opportunity program and provided advice in improving working environments and culture for commands and Sailors. 

The event kicked off with an address from Fleet Master Chief April Beldo sharing her experiences in the Navy as an African-American woman. She expressed excitement and enthusiasm when speaking about the diversity in the Navy and referred to it as a 'melting pot'.

"We all bring something great to the table and we are similar in that we each want to play a role in this mission," said Beldo. "It is everyone's responsibility to hold ourselves and each other accountable and for leadership to set the tone in treating others with dignity and respect."

Throughout the course of three days, the summit covered various topics such as command climate, equal opportunity, sexual harassment policies and complaint processing. Each day included exercises, group discussions and lectures from subject matter experts. 

"This training is a tremendous tool for commands," said George Bradshaw, director of Navy Sexual Harassment Prevention and Equal Opportunity. "We are providing command climate specialists with solutions based on results and we are introducing a climate of proactivity rather than reactivity."

Command climate specialists are experienced leaders who take the task of determining the climate of each command by conducting annual surveys. They also provide training on equal opportunity issues and ensure that all formal complaints and command issues are addressed.

"Growing up I did experience discrimination," said Chief Ship's Serviceman Carlos Baray. "When I decided to come into the Navy, being a minority, I knew this job would fit me because I saw all the diversity within. I chose to become a CCS so I can help and teach others about equal opportunity."

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