Charlene Thomas To Participate In Prestigious Program Hosted By The Secretary Of Defense


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Thomas is among a select group chosen to engage with senior military officials and U.S. Service members in the Secretary of Defense’s Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC)

Charlene Thomas, recently-appointed UPS Chief Human Resources Officer, has been selected to participate in the 91st Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC 91) hosted by the Secretary of Defense. The conference is the oldest and most prestigious public outreach and full immersion program in the Department of Defense.

As a JCOC participant, Charlene Thomas will spend several days at the Pentagon and military installations, engaging with senior military officials and U.S. Service members. Thomas will gain a better understanding of the roles and mission of the U.S. Armed Forces; their skills, capabilities and equipment employed in defense of our nation. The JCOC program directly links to the Department’s Know Your Military (#KYM) initiative, which is designed to help close the growing civilian-military divide by educating the American public about their military.

“We’re honored that Charlene was selected to participate in this program,” said David Abney, UPS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for UPS to better understand how our military operates, and how our organization can continue to effectively support service members as they look to transition into the civilian workforce.”

UPS has been a longtime supporter of service members and veterans. One of the company’s founding members served in the Navy during WWI. Today, military veterans, as well as National Guard and Reserve members, comprise 7.5 percent of the UPS domestic workforce. As part of the White House’s Joining Forces program, in 2013 UPS committed to hiring 50,000 veterans by the end of 2018. During that five-year period, UPS hired more than 88,000 veterans. UPS currently has 19 veteran employee resource groups throughout the country that serve to ensure critical resources and networking opportunities are available to these employees within UPS.

The objective of the JCOC public liaison program is to:

  • Educate and inform participants about the strength and readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces through personal observation of Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard operations.
  • Provide a better understanding of the rewards and challenges of military service.
  • Provide the American public opportunities to obtain a better understanding of national defense policies and programs through the eyes of those JCOC participants who have spent time with their military.