NEW ORLEANS - Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, spoke about the importance of diversity in the Sea Services in a panel discussion at the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) conference in New Orleans on July 25.
The annual NNOA conference, first held in 1973, consists of numerous educational and professional workshops, seminars and exhibits. Its prime focus is to support the Sea Services in recruiting, retaining, and developing the careers of minority officers.
Also on the discussion panel were U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Manson Brown and Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Tracy Garrett.
Haney praised the mission of the NNOA, underscoring the group’s personal impact on his career and its importance to the Navy as a whole.
"I have received a lot of mentorship at these meetings,” he said. “I really cannot say enough about how the United States of America, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard count on your leadership on a day-to-day basis."
Haney stressed the importance of each individual member of the Navy, and that diversity leads to creative and innovative thinking that helps military leaders make decisions.
“Diversity of opinion and diversity of ideas is absolutely essential to deal with the complex and uncertain world where we operate," Haney said.
"As leaders, it is important that you think about the legacy you leave behind. You must treat everyone with dignity and respect. No matter what rank anyone is or how long they have been in service...each one is a volunteer. We have to appreciate that and always be their biggest cheerleaders."
While in New Orleans, Haney also paid a visit to the Avondale shipyard, where two ships, PCU Anchorage (LPD 23) and PCU Somerset (LPD 25), are nearing completion of their construction.
Following a tour of Anchorage, Haney spoke with the crews of both new ships at an all hands call, expressing his excitement for the new additions to the fleet.
"I look forward to you being commissioned and operating in the fleet," he said. “You are setting the stage for the life of these warships. Your job going forward is to become the best operators possible. Learn as much as you can from the outstanding civilian workers here so that you can deliver the operational capability that I require in the Pacific."