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841st Engineering Battalion

Submission Date:  April 7, 2016

Submitted to:  Ameerah Mukayed, Senior Coordinator & Regional Communications Lead, National Diversity Council (727.871.1438)

The Face of Diversity - A Day in the Life of the 841st Engineering Battalion (Avon Park, Florida)

Today, we would like to draw your attention to a special event recently held in the heart of central Florida, as a result of strategic partnerships between the Society for Human Resource Managements (SHRM) #HRFlorida, #HRTampa, the Employer Support of the Guard and the Reserve (ESGR) and the Army’s 841st Engineering Battalion.

On Saturday, April 2, 2016, a variety of human resource (HR) professionals were able to join forces with the 841st for this unique “Shadow Day.” This event provided a wonderful opportunity for civilians to learn more about the military community and how we as an HR profession, can work simultaneously with the civilian and military workplace, in order to reduce the increasing frustrations arising from soldier transition to civilian employment.

The goal was quite simple…non-military invitees would spend the day out in the woods, out on the range, shadowing and observing members of various units engaging in training exercises. Attendees were able to observe and/or participate in the following areas during the daylong activities:

·        Conduct unit movement operations

·        Prepare a route reconnaissance overlay

·        Plan a route clearance patrol

·        Attend M4/M16 range operations

·        Participate in platoon operations in action

But why one might ask?  While the challenge is complex, the answer is quite simple… allow the non-military experienced HR professional to encounter the high quality level of skills that our servicemen and women are able to bring to the civilian business community.  In addition, enhance their experience by observing first-hand the display of military pride, leadership, responsibility, professionalism and a strong work ethic.

In the words of Krista Ellerman, Talent Consultant of Konexus Group, LLC, “Attending the US Army Shadow Day as a civilian with no military ties was an enlightening opportunity to see first-hand how many valuable skills are acquired by each of those serving.  As a talent acquisition professional in the civilian world, I am now much more knowledgeable in how these military skill sets can be translated to careers outside the military.  Gratefully, I have walked away from this experience with a greater appreciation and understanding, which will be utilized to better serve veterans entering the civilian workforce.

Celeste Adams, HR Tampa’s Secretary writes With my over 30 years of HR experience, this was the first time I was able to translate the training, skills, leadership and experience of our military personnel into various industries and cultures within the civilian community.  I understand now that we have "missed out" on hiring a valuable, highly skilled resource.... our transitioning military personnel.  My hope is this event is duplicated over and over again so many in the civilian business community will have an opportunity to experience and digest the “missed opportunity”.  While we were there the entire day, we did not even notice the time as we were totally engaged in what we were seeing and hearing.”

We would like to once again thank #HRFlorida, #HRTampa, ESGR and the 841st for their willingness to organize such a tremendous event and we look forward to future efforts currently underway throughout the State of Florida.



Bernard “Bernie” D. Currie, SHRM-CP, PHR

Diversity Director, HR Tampa

US Air Force Veteran


For more information on future events, e-mail for details.



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