Female Soldier shoots at targets.

Photo by Bill Pierce, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Caroline Anderson (second from left), human capital senior analyst for the Ohio National Guard State Human Resources Division, serves up pad thai, a stir-fried noodle dish commonly served as street food and at most restaurants in Thailand as part of that country’s cuisine, during the first Unity Day celebration Sept. 23, 2019, at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory in Columbus, Ohio. The cultural celebration included food, music and notable cultural fun facts designed to enhance cross-cultural awareness and promote harmony among military members, their Families, and the civilian workforce.

Ohio National Guard Unity Day celebration: A spice of life

Story by Bill Pierce, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (09/30/19)

About 150 Ohio National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and civilian personnel working at Joint Force Headquarters experienced a taste of different cultures during the first Unity Day Celebration Sept. 23 at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory.

The Ohio National Guard’s Equal Opportunity/Diversity and Inclusion Office holds commemorative observances and varying activities on the drill floor throughout the year to help Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees gain a diverse cultural perspective. Capt. Jenniffer Green, state equal employment manager, is in charge of coordinating the observances, which have traditionally included guest speakers.

“We thoroughly enjoy our guest speakers who connect us with the different cultural and ethnic values that are out there,” Green said. “This year, we decided to hold a Unity Day Celebration as part of our cultural awareness observance to help celebrate our differences and common interests, which in turn, helps to unite and educate.”

Green added, “Everyone has to eat. Why not bring people together with the different ethnic foods to help learn about the diverse cultures that exist in Central Ohio?”

Michelle Osterhout, administrative assistant for the Ohio Army National Guard chief of staff, took advantage of the free lunch offered during the festivities.

“I’ve been looking forward to attending the Unity Day Celebration,” Osterhout said. “Getting the chance to taste all the different ethnic foods was my favorite part.”

The celebration included a variety of food to sample, music and fun facts displayed on the video screens, providing a relaxing atmosphere for people to enjoy while they ate and held conversations. The countries represented were Laos, Puerto Rico, India, Thailand, Jamaica and Vietnam.

“Through multicultural celebrations, not only do we become more aware of each other’s culture, we also gain a sense of pride for the diversity of our own culture,” Green said.

Photos by Bill Pierce, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Ohio National Guard Diversity and Inclusion Program

A video about the people and values that make up the Ohio National Guard.


Dublin Taiko Group Performance

Members of the Dublin Taiko Group perform for Ohio National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and civilians during an Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month program in 2017. Made up of Dublin City Schools students, the group is a Japanese drum (called a taiko) ensemble that combines rhythmic music with choreographed movements during its performances.

Sr leadership stand with guest speakers of African American Heritage Month.

Speaker talks about how diversity, inclusion make an organization stronger

In celebration of African-American History Month, the Ohio National Guard Leadership Development Series recently hosted a presentation called, “What is Diversity and Inclusion, and Why is it Important,” featuring David Harrison, the senior director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services at The Ohio State University and a former Marine.