Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Feb. 28, 2019 —
McNamara Headquarters Complex employees celebrated Black History Month in a unique way Feb. 27. Teams comprising representatives from the Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Defense Technical Information Center tested their knowledge of black history by competing in an interactive, quiz-style competition following the style of a popular television gameshow.
The observance was initially scheduled for Feb. 22, when DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams was unable to attend, so he pre-recorded an address to the audience. Williams allowed the recording to play and then bounded up to the lectern to continue his remarks in person.
The director emphasized that African-American culture touches every facet of American life by noting African-Americans’ contributions to art, music, sports, science, politics, religion, fashion and cuisine. Williams also recognized the service and sacrifice of all races and acknowledged that black history is American history.
DLA Deputy Chief of Staff Hellion Flowers served as gameshow host. He joked he was a mix of Steve Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres, but would attempt to be more like Alex Trebek while officiating. After introducing judges, participants, timekeepers and scorekeepers, he laid out the rules of the game, adding that answers had to be complete, stated in the form of a question and voiced by the team captain.
Teams chose questions from six categories: people and culture, movements, laws, politicians, military and education. More difficult questions earned team members higher point values if answered correctly.
Competition among teams proved intense. More than once, Flowers asked judges to rule on the accuracy of answers or to verify which team buzzed in first. Members of the DCAA team correctly answered this 200-point military question: “Shortly after his arrival to a [Department of Defense] agency, this individual instituted a people and culture plan under the agency’s Strategic Plan …” but ultimately, they placed third in the competition.
The final scores between DLA and DTIC were close, but DLA secured first place and won bragging rights for their expert knowledge of black-history-related facts.
The next special emphasis observance will be a Women’s History Month event in the Kabeiseman Center March 20.