CRANE, Ind. –
A Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) acting branch manager and facilities strategic planner received the Department of Defense (DoD) Employee/Service Member Annual Disability Award this year. Engineer Allen Naugle, Lt Col, USAF, BSC (retired) received the award for “…significant contributions to the Department's mission and best demonstrates the core values of their respective DoD Components.”
The award “…honors the accomplishments of civilian employees and Service members with disabilities.”
“[Receiving this award] shows the value the Department of Defense places on diversity and inclusion, including how we treat disabled persons as an employer,” said Naugle. “The DoD should strive to be the leader, since the military force, simply by the nature of its operations, contributes more than our fair share of disabled persons to the total. In my 40 years of association with the DoD, I’ve seen the department go from mild annoyance through tacit acceptance to our current stance of seeking out disabled persons to come and add value to our mission. We’ve come a long way, and we’ve got a long way to go. As a coworker of mine was wont to say, ‘We’re better today than we were yesterday, and we’ll be better tomorrow than we are today.’ The truth is I’m just one piece of the overall effort—recognizing me is a surrogate for recognizing the thousands of like-minded military servants who pointedly embrace diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging.”
Naugle has worked at NSWC Crane for four years and has worked a combined 25 years for the federal government either with the military or civilian employment. In his 21 years as an Air Force Officer, Naugle received almost two dozen awards for his service, including six Meritorious Service medals and three Air Force Commendation medals.
His award citation reads, “Mr. Allen Naugle has been a true leader of people, a force for strong ethical behavior, a friend to diversity and inclusion efforts, and a mentor to those junior to him for 21 years as an Air Force Officer, a government civilian employee working in the Navy for three years, and as a member of the private sector workforce as well. In all walks of life he is an exemplary individual.”
In his three years at NSWC Crane, Naugle has worked to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. He is part of his department’s Diversity Leadership Council and frequently champions universal design, a design concept which prioritizes infrastructure that works for individuals with disabilities, like wider hallways and handles able to be turned without grip strength.
Naugle also collaborated with the facilities engineering team to develop a state-of-the-art (SOTA) "max-flex" building design concept. The design allows for a single design and site adapting at a much lower cost with minimal changes required in floor plan designs, and allowing for rapidly reconfigurable space to be quickly built and easily maintained no matter the mission. This concept has been mirrored by other warfare centers.
“[I am passionate about universal design and adaptive spaces because] in short, because it matters,” said Naugle. “The research to-date is conclusive—diverse teams equal better, higher-value-add outcomes. We also have an obligation to those who need an assist to enable their achievement of equitable outcomes. It pains me to see infrastructure and spaces that either inadvertently exclude, or as I’m sometimes angered to see, designed in an exclusionary manner. The tweaks—and let’s be honest, they’re tweaks, not major design elements—needed to make a space inclusive and easily adaptable to anyone, are not a significant cost driver. Fortunately, I see a tipping point in our culture coming, to where society will require such design elements. We’ll collectively shun spaces that aren’t fully inclusive. Like I said, it matters. Period.”
About NSWC Crane | NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.
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