Arlington, Virginia, Sep 6 (EFE). Defense budget cuts could affect the U.S. Navy's programs to recruit Hispanics, the Chief of Naval Operations said Friday in an interview with Efe.
Diversity is a "strategic imperative" for the Navy, Adm. Jonathan Greenert said earlier this week in a speech to the Association of Naval Services Officers, an organization dedicated to expanding the presence of Hispanic and Latin Americans in the Sea Services.
"Sometimes our outreach programs get caught up in overhead and administration and that is not what they are, they are important strategic programs," Greenert told Efe.
"So we have to be vigilant and focused to make sure we spend the money that is necessary to recruit and to nurture and bring along our people," he said. "Put another way, it's a priority and we have to make it a priority and I intend to do that."
Diversity is important, according to Greenert, "because as our country is evolving and the demographics of the country are evolving, and therefore that's where the talent is, that's where the skills are, and we have to go mine that in order to be successful in the Navy."
More than 43,000 Hispanics are currently in the U.S. Navy, which has had a Latino component since the Civil War and which in recent years has launched several programs specifically to recruit that minority.
One of the programs, dubbed "El Navy," has successfully swelled the ranks of Hispanics at the U.S. Naval Academy.