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NEWS | July 17, 2015

USFK civilian recognized by NAACP for workforce transformation

By David Vergun

Stephanie C. Rainey, human resources program director, Civilian Human Resources Policy and Programs, U.S. Forces Korea, was named recipient of the 2015 Department of the Army's NAACP Roy Wilkins Renowned Service Award.

The award, presented during the NAACP's annual national convention in Philadelphia, July 14, is given for "outstanding contributions in military equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion policies and promoting civil rights for Department of Defense military and civilian personnel."

The heart of her work, Rainey said, is about helping others. That assistance is particularly important today, as the U.S. Army is re-stationing its forces in South Korea.

The re-stationing involves moving some 3,000 Army civilians and 16,000 Korean nationals from Army installations in the Seoul area to other installations further south, on Camp Humphreys and Osan. A parallel effort is occurring on the uniformed side.

In her leadership role in human resources, Rainey is uniquely positioned to smooth the effort to re-station the civilian workforce.

One of her first steps in doing that was to form the Civilian Human Capital Joint Working Group, which she chairs.

The group, she said, has human resources representatives from all of the military services as well as other Department of Defense activities, including the Army Air Force Exchange Services, DOD Education Activity, Defense Commissary Activity, and Defense Intelligence Agency.

The group collaborates transformation and re-stationing efforts to ensure planning and execution are well coordinated, efficient, effective and consistent, she said.

The group is developing communication strategies to ensure those who are affected are kept apprised of developments that may impact them throughout all phases of the move, which is currently in the initial stages. Leaders will be kept in the loop so they can better lead and manage throughout the transition.

Another human resources effort Rainey leads, as part of the group, is to improve the management of overseas tours in an effort to rotate employees within the DOD five-year requirement and enrich the employees' experience stateside by serving overseas.

Recognizing that not all of the personnel will want to transfer to a new installation, some may opt for the Priority Placement Program, or PPP, she said.

Rainey is involved in the DOD-level Enterprise Working Group, which is looking to overhaul the PPP. Too many people in that program are not getting placed, she said.

CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS

Regarding the recognition from the NAACP, Rainey said she's still "pinching herself" to make sure it really happened. She said she's overwhelmed at the honor of receiving an award at the NAACP convention.

"It was a complete surprise," she said. "I'm still in shock."

Rainey's husband, Sylvester, along with children Chianti and Brandon, attended the event to watch their mother receive the award. The biggest moment, she said, came when President Barack Obama spoke.

He "spoke to the inequities of the criminal justice system and also announced that he will be the first sitting president to visit a prison," she said. And, following the convention, "he did just that."

Rainey said she also enjoyed the presentation given by NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock and "many up-and-coming youths," who also shared the platform.

She said that the NAACP has for generations fought hard "to eliminate segregation and gain equal rights for so many" and today, she and others are beneficiaries of those who have helped to make it happen, including people like civil rights activist Roy Wilkins, for whom her award is named.

Rainey said this was the first time she attended an NAACP convention.Philadelphia, PA on July 14, 2015.
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