Dyotha Rene' Sweat
Dyotha Rene’ Sweat is a native of Paterson, New Jersey. Having grown up in an environment like Paterson has taught her the importance of civic engagement, strength, resilience and to value different opinions and cultures. These attributes transitioned with her and have been instrumental in her adaptability living abroad while serving in the military and now residing in a county such as Charles County.
Dyotha made Charles County her home in 2008 while still serving in the United States Navy. She patterns her life through service to others and has learned the importance of mentorship, hard work, effective communication and teamwork. She has perfected the ability to make the hard decisions and see a task through to completion. Serving as the Vice President with the local NAACP she understands with change comes challenges and often resistance but with effective communications and the ability not only to listen but value all the opinions of stakeholders involved. She believes you must listen twice as much as you feel the need to speak.
Dyotha retired from the Navy on June 30, 2010, at the rank of Navy Chief Petty Officer after serving 24 years of active service. Being “The Chief” put her in situations where she had to be comfortable with being the only female or African American and sometime both. It taught her regardless of the moment to remain poised and professional. These skills facilitated her ability to adapt and overcome any and all obstacles presented.
During her time in the Navy, Dyotha trained in the field of Telecommunications and Information Systems. Here, she was entrusted to manage the Navy’s equipment and personnel in all branches of service (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard) and as well as foreign nations that led to successful mission accomplishment. She was responsible for the operation and also the security posture and safeguarding of the equipment and personnel. She has an innate ability to communicate across lines. She is able to observe and assess the necessary resources required, the proper manpower needed and the essential focus appropriate to achieve the goal at hand. This was especially displayed while being assigned to Naval Communication Station, Hawaii in her role as the Communications Watch Officer. In this position, she was responsible for the Communication posture of the entire Pacific region of the Globe. With resources (personnel and equipment) valuing in excess of $10 Billion, Dyotha expertly managed and supported the nation’s mission, while ensuring the operations of multi-million-dollar programs. Vessels at sea were able to complete their critical missions in a timely manner and without compromise.
Equality and Equity has always been a focal point for Ms. Sweat. Her belief is Diversity cannot exist without Inclusion. While in uniform she served as Command Managed Equal Opportunity Officer (CMEO) and as the Equal Opportunity (EO) Liaison. In this position, she served as the Advisor to the senior leadership on policy and procedures that govern the workforce. The value of Community and its well-being started early in her life and has always been a priority. It followed her as a service member where Dyotha participated in mentoring programs and community relations (COMREL) activities when visiting foreign countries. These included refurbishing communities, visiting orphanages and tutoring those students who required a little extra assistance.
Since retirement, Dyotha has continued to dedicate her life, efforts and time in the community by advocating for the rights and needs of those disenfranchised such as the homeless population, veterans (female), our youth and our elderly. She is currently serving her 2nd term as 1st Vice President of the Charles County, NAACP. She has worked with organizations in the community geared to assisting Homelessness with her time and financial support. Her passion and action driven desire to improve the lives of our Youth led to her appointment by the Maryland State NAACP President as the Youth and College Division Advisor for the state of Maryland. As the Chair, Dyotha was instrumental in bringing the NAACP Afro Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT SO) Youth program to Charles County. This program is designed to give High School student’s academic exposure and cultural achievement in a socially responsive environment. Dyotha firmly believes in investing in our youth. She loves the energy and vibrancy of the youth. She feels mentoring is a key part of preparing our youth for the future. In combining her love of mentoring and the game of basketball she has served in multiple capacities in various organizations. As a volunteer coach of Parks and Recreation and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams, she mentored county youth as a basketball coach in Charles County for 7 years. She also served on the Board for two local AAU basketball organizations. Her skills in leadership helped bring structure and direction to both those organizations. Dyotha served as JV Head Coach Girls’ basketball at St Charles High School 2015 & 2016 season. Her position with coaching has always been mentor first; then coach. Mentorship is the key to a successful future. Working together with youth and sharing her life experiences gives them the opportunity to reframe their present and envision their future.
As a retired Female Veteran, Dyotha advocates for all Veterans but in particular the female veteran in the community as this population is often forgotten. When a female leaves military service many times the resources are not available to assist with the transition. Her dedication to her fellow servicewomen was recognized by Boots 2 Heels, Inc organization as Woman of the year 2016, Citation from the County Commissioners and recognition by Congressman Hoyer at his annual Women’s luncheon March 2017. Never wanting the community to forget her service and the service of others to our Nation, she shared her concerns with Elected Officials regarding the lack of resources in our county. Through those conversations the county now has a dedicated person to assist with the resources available locally.
Dyotha is a passionate leader who places great value on improving her community. She treats people with respect and still believes in the “It Takes A Village” mentality. Her belief is when you treat people as though they matter with dignity and respect they will do their best to improve their lives to match your effort. Dyotha is a mother of two adult children, Ashley resident of Waldorf, MD and Robert resident of Charlotte, NC with daughter in law, Jennifer and grandson, Cyrus. Dyotha received her BA in Sociology from St Leo University, her MBA: Information Management from Grantham University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Education with a concentration in Organizational Leadership from NorthCentral University. She is a member of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc Southern Maryland. A member of Tabernacle of Praise, Waldorf, MD.
Dyotha was assigned as the 1st Female Chief Petty Officer on USS STETHEM DDG 63 (2005-2008) – named after local resident & Navy Diver Robert D Stethem – killed in terrorist attack 1985 in Greece. She serves as a member of the Professional Advisory Committee at the Robert D Stethem Center in Pomfret, MD. She also serves as a member of the Scholarship committee which award scholarships to two Charles County students.
AUTHORIZED BY: Campaign to Elect Dyotha Rene' Sweat; B. Billie, Treasurer