USAARL Soldier Named MRMC Equal Opportunity Leader of the Year
Staff Sgt. David Lopez of the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Fort Rucker, Ala., was selected as the 2012 U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Equal Opportunity Leader of the Year.
Lopez, USAARL's Warfighter Health Division non-commissioned officer in-charge, manages the Laboratory's EO program, which follows the Army's EO program mission to formulate, direct, and sustain a comprehensive effort to ensure fair treatment for military personnel, family members, and civilians regardless of race, color, gender, religion, or national origin, and provide an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior.
"It's a real honor to be selected as MRMC's EOL of the Year. I would like to thank USAARL's EO team, Staff Sgt. Craig Berlin, Staff Sgt. Jessica Madrazo, Sgt. William McGilberry, and Sgt. Arlene Breaux-Waltz, and USAARL's command staff, Maj. Antonio Blue and Col. Dana Renta," said Lopez. "Without their help, it would have been very difficult to accomplish the EO program mission."
Lopez was selected due to his management of USAARL's EO program, which led to commendable ratings during the recent MRMC and U.S. Army Medical Command EO inspections, and his essay response to the question, "Gays in the Military: Should Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Questioning be an equal opportunity protected category? Why or why not?"
"EO is an important part of my life. Everyone is born into a different family circle with different sets of values and beliefs. Because of our differences in race, religion, gender, color, or national origin, we sometimes tend to separate from others and even become prejudicial against each other," said Lopez. "Early in my career, I realized that the EO program was in place to protect all Soldiers. The Department of Defense is a pioneer when it comes to human relations, so I am proud to be part of the EO program."
"Staff Sgt. Lopez's outstanding competence, initiative, compassion, and professionalism have a positive impact on the lives of many people," said Master Sgt. Bobby Edmond, USAARL's senior enlisted advisor. "His leadership serves as an example of how to treat others."
"I can speak for WHD in saying that we couldn't be prouder of our NCOIC," said Dr. Art Estrada, director of WHD. "Congratulations, Staff Sgt. Lopez, for your care and concern for us all."
"I am grateful for the opportunity to represent MRMC at the Fiscal Year 2012 MEDCOM EOL of the Year competition," said Lopez.