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Defense Department recognizes NGA

By Kristen L. Mackey, Office of Corporate Communications

SPRINGFIELD, Va.--In October, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency won the award for “Best Intelligence Component” in the 2013 Secretary of Defense Awards for Achievements in Employment of Individuals with Disabilities.

In 1987, the Secretary of Defense established a Department of Defense (DoD)-wide goal to increase the participation rate of individuals with targeted disabilities to 2 percent of its civilian workforce. 

Targeted disabilities include the deaf, vision impaired, persons with missing extremities or with complete or partial paralysis, epilepsy, severe intellectual disorders, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders and dwarfism.

This is just the fourth year that the intelligence community competed amongst themselves for the recognition, and the first time NGA won.

Cardell Richardson, NGA’s director of the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Employment Opportunity, accepted the award at a Pentagon ceremony Oct. 30 on behalf of the agency and its director, Letitia A. Long. Richardson was joined by Lauren McCann, an NGA disability program manager who was also recognized as part of a group of managers from across the DoD at the ceremony.

“NGA has .82 percent of full-time employees with targeted disabilities due to an active NGA campaign to recruit and retain persons with disabilities,” said Richardson. “So many directorates across NGA are hiring and accommodating persons with disabilities.”

McCann believes that NGA won because of a strong commitment to employing people with disabilities and a strong reasonable accommodation program to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to the benefits and privileges of employment.

“One of our greatest strengths, both as military and as a nation, is our diversity," said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the award letter. "We must challenge all personnel to take full advantage of the abilities and perspective of others. We, as a department, must keep striving to be a model workplace that welcomes the contributions of people with disabilities. Our nation deserves nothing less.”

Richardson encourages people concerned that their disability or impairment may prevent them from being an effective member of the agency, to read more about the opportunities and programs that are available. Contact NGA’s Reasonable Accommodation Program at 1-866-803-7489 or

If you are interested in applying to NGA, you can review available positions and submit your application online through the eRecruit system or go to our careers page.

Photo Caption: NGA's Cardell Richardson accepts the DOD Disability Award for Best Intelligence Component from Army Lt. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, military deputy to the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Photo Credit: Michael Pausik, U.S. Air Force, Pentagon staff