Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead delivered the keynote address at the 26th annual Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) conference at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Bellevue, Wash., May 10.
Roughead addressed the audience and spoke about the importance of FAPAC to the Navy.
"FAPAC is an important organization that figures prominently in our Navy with its outreach, information and support to members and has nurtured great leaders within our Navy," said Roughead.
During his remarks Roughead highlighted the importance of diversity in today's Navy.
"The kind of diversity of background and expertise in this room stands to have a major impact on how well the United States preserves its interests in the Asia-Pacific, which is of particular interest to the United States Navy," said Roughead. "It is from this region where more of the economic growth and activity in our world will emanate, and it is in this region alone where countries with outstanding maritime and natural resource disputes are building world-class navies."
The CNO also spoke of today's Navy having the "finest Sailors in history" and how diversity has helped to shape it.
"We are a powerful Navy with global responsibilities thanks to our people, first and foremost," said Roughead. "Diversity of thought and expertise are strategic imperatives for our Navy precisely because they produce more of the high-quality Sailors we prize and will prepare the kind of leaders we will need for global leadership tomorrow."
Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Kang Lee, assigned to the USS Louisiana (SSBN 743), said it was nice to be recognized.
"It was nice to take a break and learn about what the Navy's doing to bring diversity," said Lee. "I think it's a great thing."
Lt. j.g. Helen Tautalo, assistant force diversity officer with Commander, Naval Surface Force (COMNAVSURFOR), said she was inspired by the CNO's speech.
"It was awesome, and it should be a great example and also a good thing for us to look forward to," said Tautalo. "Seeing a leader such as the CNO with us here… it just makes it worth it."
The Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) was founded in 1985. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes equal opportunity and cultural diversity for Asian Pacific American employees in the government workforce.