Nine representatives from five different diversity groups along with Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (NRC), Rear Adm. Annie B. Andrews, visited the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as part of the distinguished visitor (DV) embark program, Sept. 11-12.
The DV embark program places key leaders from all sectors of society aboard a deployed carrier to experience first-hand how Sailors and the Navy are contributing to the security of the United States, and to the stability of the global community.
Cmdr. Dave Arnold, NRC diversity division director, explained the importance of having these individuals participate in DV embarks.
“The overall goal of the embark is to create Navy awareness,” said Arnold. “These guests are citizens of influence and we want them to get a real feel of what we do.”
Arnold said DV embarks can be an effective tool for Navy recruiting.
“Because these individuals represent different diversity groups, we are looking for members of their societies,” said Arnold. “Hopefully through this experience they will be more likely to recommend the Navy to their co-workers and fellow students.”
Leading up to the embark, many of the participants had concerns about the visit, but were hoping to make the best of the opportunity to learn about Navy life.
“Coming from diversity, I want to understand how the Navy supports diversity,” said Gabriel Hernandez, corporate relations manager of The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. “I want to know how I can take the Navy message to my members.”
The DVs boarded a C-2A Greyhound carrier onboard delivery aircraft (COD) in San Diego heading out to the underway aircraft carrier. Once onboard, the DVs enjoyed an extensive tour of the ship including day and night flight operations.
The guests also had a chance to connect with the crew during meal times. Hernandez said eating with the enlisted Sailors was a rewarding experience.
After returning from the ship, the DVs said they learned a great deal from their experience.