NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- The Navy's surgeon general and chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery participated in the Enterprise Leadership Panel at the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) 40th Professional Development and Training Conference July 24.
Navy Surgeon General, Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, told an audience of more than 100 attendees that the main mission of Navy Medicine is to keep the nation's naval forces medically ready to operate around the world in support of U.S. national objectives.
"Readiness is the hallmark of Navy Medicine," Nathan said. "Everywhere a Sailor or Marine goes, Navy Medicine goes with them, and it is my mission to keep the warfighter safe on, above and below the water and on and off the battlefield."
Nathan highlighted the Navy's global mission of being forward deployed to provide a power projection and deterrence role, while also being ready to respond to humanitarian assistance and disaster response requirements.
"We are a global force for good," said Nathan. "We prepare for war, but on a daily basis we operate for peace."
Navy Medicine is a key element of the maritime strategy's humanitarian assistance capability. Nathan stressed the importance of diversity in the Navy and in Navy Medicine in supporting the maritime strategy.
"It is imperative for us to field the best team possible through diversity," Nathan said. "It's never been more important to create cultural ties and bonds around the world through humanitarian missions, like Pacific Partnership. When the world sees the diverse tapestry and backgrounds of the personnel who make up the U.S. Navy, we can better become a leader in national security around the globe."
NNOA is one of the largest affinity organizations committed to recruiting, developing and retaining minority officers. The purpose of the event is to provide professional development for personnel of the sea services and to demonstrate the importance of cultural diversity.
Other naval leaders on the panel included Vice Adm. Allen Myers, commander of Naval Air Forces and commander of Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Rear Adm. Bruce Grooms, deputy, Operations Plans and Strategy; Rear Adm. Michael Tillotson, commander of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command; and Rear Adm. Gordon Russell, commander of Navy Intelligence Reserve Command. Each highlighted the importance of enhancing leadership, mentorship and diversity in the Navy.
As the Navy Surgeon General and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Nathan leads a global healthcare network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.
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