CNO Releases Diversity Podcast

U.S. Navy, February 27, 2009

WASHINGTON (NNS)–The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead released a podcast on the importance of diversity and the Navy’s diversity initiatives Feb. 27.

In the podcast, Roughead talks about the strides the Navy has made since he released his new diversity policy in 2008. He emphasized that a diverse population is important because when Sailors and Navy civilians are approached with issues, it provides a range of ideas, perspectives and backgrounds that provide better solutions making the Navy stronger.

“In the military and in the Navy, it’s important that we are a diverse organization because we have to represent what I call the face of America,” said Roughead. “As our population changes and the percentages of majority-minority changes and that’s always taking place we have to reflect that same demographic in our Navy and that’s why it’s important, but at the end of the day, it really makes a huge difference because we’re stronger because of the different perspectives and ideas that people bring to bear.”

CNO also said the diversity of the Navy has made great progress in recent years.

“We’ve expanded our junior ROTC programs, we’re expanding our ROTC programs, we’re offering scholarship opportunities sooner than we did before so that the young men and women can make an earlier choice,” he said.

He expressed that it is each individual’s responsibility to recruit, develop, educate and retain leaders from and for all parts of the Navy and nation.

“Diversity is also about leadership and looking for young men and women with talent and drive and competence and putting them in positions where they can succeed,” said Roughead.

He stressed the value of a diverse Navy and the success it will bring the young men and women put in positions to lead Sailors in the future.

“Those positions then enable them to reach higher and go further in the Navy then they would have had they not had a leader who was looking out for them, mentoring them, training them and guiding them along in a career that is the best in the world,” Roughead said.

[Editor’s Note: The podcast can be heard here.]

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