SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert addressed attendees of the Association of Naval Services Officers' (ANSO) 32nd annual convention at a luncheon, Aug. 9.
ANSO fosters the growth, advancement and recognition of Hispanic officer and enlisted personnel in the uniformed naval services, encompassing the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Their annual convention focuses on leadership, professional development and training through a series of workshops.
Greenert took the stage and reflected on the history of Hispanic contributions to the naval services, noting former Secretary of the Navy and ANSO founder Edward Hidalgo and Adm. David Farragut, the first Hispanic admiral in the U.S. Navy.
"I need some ideas to be better in our ability to recruit and retain Hispanic officers and enlisted leaders," he said. "We need to continue to nurture and bring this along, and ANSO is a very good source for that. It's a very good institution."
Greenert emphasized the importance of diversity in the naval services, citing teamwork between the services as a key element to successfully accomplishing the nation's tasking.
"When all of us are out there as a team, that's when we're most effective. We need the imagination of a diverse force. It's a military necessity and a business necessity," he said. "The best are out there. It's about mining that wide range of people. It's not about quotas. A diverse team will always perform better than a group of similar thinkers from the same background."
Greenert proceeded to take questions on a variety of topics, ranging from perform to serve (PTS) to educational opportunities. ANSO president, retired Rear Adm. Will Rodriguez, presented Greenert with a package of ANSO coasters to bring the luncheon to conclusion.
Rodriguez noted the ANSO convention provided many unique opportunities for the attendees.
"The CNO understands what we need to do. He's dedicated to what we do and to the Sailors. We can't fight without the people, and that's his number one focus," said Rodriguez. "If you come to ANSO, you're going to get access to these key leaders and commercial leaders that can help you transition. You're going to get things like one-on-one flag mentoring that you wouldn't be able to otherwise."
The ANSO convention will conclude Aug. 10.
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