51st Annual NNOA Symposium

51st Annual NNOA Symposium

Greetings Fellow Members and Supporters!

This week kicks off our annual Professional Development and Leadership Training Symposium recognizing our 51st year of making a difference. As we build on celebrating last year’s historic 50th anniversary, our National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) remains more relevant than ever to the success of our U.S. Sea Services. With the hard work and support of our members, partners, and sponsors, our efforts in the recruitment, retention, and career development of a more diverse and effective total force makes a positive impact on unifying and strengthening our nation daily.

This year’s theme is “NNOA: Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders Through Mentorship and Professional Development.” Our main action items are to educate, inspire, engage, and elevate current and future leaders by learning from our past to better prepare for success in the future. Those four words (Educate, Inspire, Engage, and Elevate) will be used a lot this week and this year as we move forward. From an educational perspective, we join our nation in celebrating the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9981 (Desegregation of Armed Services) and the 50th anniversary of our All-Volunteer Force. Both are key documents for NNOA’s very existence and are crucial elements of helping all leaders understand the mandate for a diverse force that operates in an equitable and inclusive environment. Additionally, our highly successful Youth STEM Event series continues to educate middle and high school students on scholarship and service opportunities. Our program lights the path for many students to serve as future military, government, and business leaders, thus enhancing our nation’s pursuit of a more perfect union.

From an inspirational standpoint, NNOA’s creation in 1972 by midgrade and junior officers on the campus of the Naval Academy is a story worth sharing and can be found on our www.NNOA.org website. Since then, NNOA has grown into the premier mentoring and coaching affinity group across all Sea Services, and we have significant representation in the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Transportation, among others. There are literally hundreds of inspirational stories of NNOA members successfully making a difference at the national, organizational, and individual levels, so please be prepared to share your story this week, both in person and on social media.

With respect to engagement, NNOA has been unwavering. Our dedication to mentoring, coaching, and advocating for a stronger and more diverse officer corps in the Sea Services remains the same and it’s our collective responsibility to seek innovative ways to get better. This year, we expanded our monthly and quarterly mentoring sessions across virtual environments, which ranged from Junior to Senior Officer sessions across East Coast, West Coast, and Forward Deployed forces. We have also strengthened our collaboration with the Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO), Sea Services Leadership Association (SSLA), and other like-minded organizations to synchronize our efforts going forward.

To elevate our activities to new levels of excellence, we have made significant progress in firmly establishing our NNOA Foundation. Doing so enhances our long-term fiscal stability while expanding commitments from our sponsors and supporters. As our partnerships expand, so do our impact and influence opportunities.

For those who are here attending the Symposium in person, thank you. I look forward to seeing you this week and ask that you take the time to meet and engage with at least five new people. Listen to their inspirational stories while sharing your own, and feel free to capture some of those moments on social media.

Thank you, as well, to our members and supporters who were not able to attend this year but continue to support our mission worldwide. The future success of NNOA rests on the shoulders of all of us.

Lastly, we can all benefit from applying the old proverb… “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together!”  NNOA has come a long way, and we have a long way to go. We are stronger together!

Cedric E. Pringle
RDML (Retired) USN
25th President

51st Annual NNOA Symposium


Coronado, CA (July 31) – The National Naval Officers Association is hosting its 5th Annual Youth STEM Day onboard NAS North Island on Monday, 31 July 2023 from 8am-2pm. Join students, parents, teachers, administrators, and STEM professionals as they experience a dynamic day of STEM demonstrations and exhibits. In addition to wide ranging, hands-on STEM activities and emerging technologies, students will have “next level” access to maritime platforms, civil and military aircraft, and flight operations. The venue for this broad spectrum of activity will be the HSC-85 Hangar and its adjacent flight line.

The guest speaker for the event will be the Ms. Steffanie Easter, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Cobham Advanced Electronics Solutions (CAES). An experienced STEM professional and former Director of the Navy Staff, she will inspire the attendees with her problem-solving perspective and insights on new platforms and technologies.

Department of the Navy (DON) will host 16 STEM booths highlighting various naval labs, commands and warfare centers. There will be a host of other industry, academia, community and Flag and General Officers participating. While most of the event exhibitors will come from the greater San Diego, southern California area, there are participating entries from all across the country. We are very excited about the broad range of STEM areas of study and career options being highlighted during Youth STEM Day 2023. Our overall goal is to Engage, Inspire, and Mentor our 750+ guests…and illuminate potential pathways to achieving their dreams. STEM opportunities like this inspire curiosity and shape a generation of talent prepared for future global challenges. Strong STEM efforts are critical to America’s future, and are a matter of national security.

This year, we welcome Purdue University who will highlight a unique STEM activity on microelectronics/semiconductors to increase awareness of the importance of an industry that literally affects every aspect of daily life. Purdue University is at the forefront of educating the next generation of workforce leaders in semiconductors and microelectronics, offering a suite of innovative credentials and degrees that will reassert American preeminence in this critical industry. Curiosity, interest and excitement about Semiconductor technology has to start at an early stage.

Members of the media are welcome and encouraged to attend and participate in the STEM Day activities.