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News | Sept. 24, 2021

Carderock’s “Best of the Best” Recognized in Magnificent Eight Awards Ceremony

By Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division Public Affairs

Employees who made a significant contribution to the Navy and to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division in 2020 were honored at the command’s annual “Magnificent Eight” award ceremony on Sept. 15, 2021, in West Bethesda, Maryland.

“The Magnificent Eight Awards recognize ‘the best of the best’ within Carderock,” Technical Director Larry Tarasek said. “Each of the awards is named after a person that represents a legacy in courage, commitment, honor and desire to further progress the United States Navy. As the Technical Director, I’m very proud of the accomplishments of our teams that have gone above and beyond to ensure our priorities are met. Thank you for your incredible dedication to the mission and congratulations on a job well done that continues the success of our command and Navy mission into the future.”

The Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely Jr. Award for Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion

The Gravely Award recognizes individuals who promote an inclusive workplace by inviting diverse viewpoints, encouraging collaboration and modeling appreciation and respect toward colleagues. Head of Carderock’s Materials and Manufacturing Technology Division Johnnie Deloach is this year’s award recipient for establishing a weekly discussion forum for Carderock employees to discuss topics like racial injustice in the country and the civil unrest that occurred after the death of George Floyd Jr. on May 25, 2020, under police custody.  

“It seemed a shame to me that there was no real way for us to get things off our chests,” Deloach said. “You don’t spend a lot of time talking about racial issues, gender issues and politics; those are things that people stay away from.”

While the sensitive nature of the subject could have caused a stir, Deloach moved forward with his plan, despite his apprehension.

“I had faith that people would understand that this is a non-judgmental space where people are going to have different opinions and will always treat each other with respect,” Deloach said. “We talked a lot about people’s feelings – about what was going on, then people began sharing some pretty intimate perspectives on their experiences with racism.”

Read more about the "The Magnificent Eight Awards" here

Carderock’s Corporate Communication Department employees Courtney Jones, Benjamin Morley, Todd Hurley, Edvin Hernandez and Kelley Stirling contributed to this story.