NORFOLK, Va. – There's an old saying that, "Good come in threes" and for Information Systems Technician 1st Class Tyrell Hardison, this saying literally fits. Back in March, he was selected as Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Dam Neck Activity's (NSWCDD DNA) Sailor of the Quarter, then at the end of September he was named NSWCDD DNA's Sailor of the Year.
Hardison, his wife Tabitha, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Josephine Leon, NSWCDD DNA's executive officer; attended Hampton Roads Diversity and Inclusion Consortium's (HRDIC) celebration luncheon in downtown Norfolk, Va., Oct. 29. It was at this luncheon where HRDIC recognized Hardison and five other military service men and women who have served or are serving our country and exemplifying diversity and inclusion.
"The Pride Service Award, which we presented to these community leaders, is the first of its kind in our 10 year history," said Mr. Billy McIntyre, HRDIC chairman of the board. "Today's award recipients have distinguished themselves as leaders and role models in the community and have promoted inclusion in an outstanding manner."
A native of Wise County, Va., Hardison spent 12 years in the Navy working in his rating, information technician, but he has also been responsible for dozens of collateral duties, besides being the father of Eunice and Julian, throughout his career. "Today's event was an excellent and awesome experience . . . to be surrounded by so many of Hampton Roads' finest," said Hardison, "and for all in attendance to celebrate a truly great cause that benefits so many, leaves me speechless."
After receiving her Pride in Service Award, Leon praised the keynote speakers for encouraging everyone in the room to continue embracing the unique differences of others in order to create a work-place culture where everyone can feel included and valued.
Hardison began his career at Navy Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes in 2007 and swapped Michigan's weather for information technology school at Corry Station Pensacola, Fla., until March 2008. He went on to serve onboard USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in Norfolk, Va., for the next four years where he earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification while servings as communications watch officer and Technical Control Facility supervisor and got promoted to petty officer second class.
Hardison transferred to Navy Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) San Diego until June 2015 where he served as a Global Command Control System Maritime instructor. During his time at IWTC, he was the lead instructor for three NEC driven courses. He completed his Enlisted Information Warfare Specialist and Master Training Specialist qualifications while providing critical training to fleet Sailors. He was promoted to his present rank, petty officer first class, while completing an associate degree in computer studies and a bachelor of science degree in cybersecurity.
He returned to San Diego, assuming duties as Cyber Department Leading Petty Officer and Navy Blue Team analyst at Information Warfare Training Group where he provided oversight for network assessment teams covering Third and Seventh Fleet units.
Currently, he is serving as NSWCDD DNA's IT Portfolio manager, leading procurement for crucial research, development, testing, and evaluation of information technology resources for fleet support.
As CMEO, he is responsible for the coordination of command climate surveys and leadership of the Command Resilience Team. Additionally, he fills the role of the Family Advocacy Program point of contact; mentoring Sailors on Fleet and Family Service Center counseling services and resources to sustain mission readiness.
"It was my personal honor to not only represent our command beside IT1 Hardison and his wife at today's luncheon," concluded Leon, "but also to be at an event that recognizes veterans who exemplify leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion within their organizations was great!"
IT1's accomplishments at NSWCDD DNA include:
- As the command climate and equal opportunity manager, IT1 Hardison successfully executed the 2019 Annual Survey for 655 Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) personnel.
- He led 22 focus groups that identified and proposed initiatives aimed at increasing morale and fostering a positive work culture.
- As the Command Resilience Team lead, he promoted an environment of inclusion that embodied the culture, race, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation for all employees.
- His exceptional professionalism, unrelenting perseverance and steadfast devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the values mirrored by the Hampton Roads Diversity and Inclusion Consortium.
- As Military Command Equal Opportunity manager, he coordinated focus groups and surveys to maintain and improve morale.
- As career counselor, he mentored Sailors on career and professional development, directly impacting Navy enlistment retention.
- Twice awarded Command Sailor of the Year 2017 NIOC San Diego and 2019 NSWCDD Dam Neck Activity for outstanding achievement.
- As a member of the command’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, he helped promote diversity and equal opportunity to more than 600 employees.
- Chaired 20 Master Training Specialist boards qualifying 30 Sailors on expert training techniques in support of Fleet Information Warfare operations.
- As a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocate, he increased awareness and membership of SAPR through effective training on resources and roles of victim advocates.
- Volunteered through Meals-On-Wheels, providing method for elderly and impaired civilians to receive vital food and supplies.
- Increased literacy by leading community used book sale evolution for San Diego metro area.
- Volunteered for Junior Achievement through elementary schools mentoring children on basic life skills.
- College advisor to seven mentees increasing knowledge on successful education and career decisions.