ARLINGTON (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Operations Heritage Commitee held its second annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at Fort Myer Oct. 8 to pay tribute to the nearly 78,000 Hispanics currently serving in the Navy's total force.
Rear Adm. Daniel P. Holloway, director, Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education delivered a message that spoke to the 2009 theme, 'Embracing the fierce urgency of now' where he encouraged nearly 100 attendees to develop a sense of urgency about developing tomorrow's leaders by becoming the best possible leaders themselves today.
"We need to be committed to becoming leaders who will inspire, mentor and understand the Navy Total Force. And we need to focus on becoming these types of leaders now," Holloway said.
Holloway reaffirmed the Navy's commitment to diversity by highlighting how diversity can tactically help the Navy become a global force for good. He stressed that cultural adaptability is an imperative since many of today's missions require the ability of forces to work with people from the Middle East as well as with international support coalitions.
"The work of the Navy spans across the entire globe. Among others, much of it involves being successful at diplomacy as well as humanitarian efforts," Holloway said.
Lt. Cmdr. Frances Crespo, an instructor at the National Defense University as well as the president of the Washington D.C. chapter of the Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO), services, said she enjoyed the program. ANSO actively works to attract, recruit and retain Hispanic officers in the sea services.
"I was very impressed with the admiral's focus on mentorship," Crespo said. "It was said in such a way that suggested it shouldn't matter what race or ethnicity your mentor is as long people are working to help you succeed and be better at what you do," she said.
Holloway suggested the best mentors offer professional advice, help demystify military culture and ultimately provide the foundation for a successful naval career. He also suggested mentees are wise and have an edge on those who decide to "go it alone".
The tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month also featured Chief Yeoman Luis Lujan who performed several Spanish ballads while accompanied by a live Mariachi band.
Another program highlight was a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation of notable firsts in the Hispanic community to include Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court's first Hispanic justice and only the third female justice in the court's 220-year history.
For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Diversity Directorate, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp-diversity/.