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NEWS | March 12, 2024

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Senior Enlisted Leadership Symposium Concludes

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs

The U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) Senior Enlisted Leadership Symposium, a three-day conference hosting military senior enlisted leaders (SEL) and delegates at Naval Stations (NAVSTA) Rota Spain, concluded on March 7, 2024.

Throughout the symposium, speakers and leaders had the opportunity to share their expertise on several themes including warfighting competency, professional and character development, and Sailor's quality of life.

NAVEUR-NAVAF Staff Command Master Chief Mistie Marcucci was one of the delegates at the symposium, and explained the importance of building a foundation for effective warfighters.

"This week highlighted the necessity to focus on the foundation of our Sailors," said Marcucci. "An instrumental part of that foundation, is enlisted leadership development. Education of our Sailors is a warfighter enabler."

Ms. Juliet Beyler, the Executive Director of NAVEUR-NAVAF, was a guest speaker at the symposium and spoke to the importance of diversity in the Navy and why equal opportunity is critical for force development.

"Today, women account for 21% of our active duty Navy and 10% of the Marine Corps," said Beyler. "When I was first in, women were 4% of the Marine Corps. Across the DoD women are 20% of our force and that number continues to grow."

Among those themes was diversity and how the military has evolved during the years, especially when it came to women in service.

That same week, Beyler spoke at the Women's History Month celebration sponsored by the U.S. Sixth Fleet's Multicultural Heritage Committee onboard U.S. Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples Capodichino.

"Beyond celebrations of achievement," said Beyler. "I hope that you walk away from these multi-cultural heritage events with a deeper understanding of your own leadership strengths and weakness and style and hope you at least learn one thing from every speaker. I think we all can learn about the strength of the team and the true power of diversity of thought, perspective and approach."

Beyler spoke about the progress she has seen over the last 40 years and invited the crowd in attendance and leadership to seek changes of their own and to be on the lookout for excellence.

"Excellence doesn't always look like excellence," said Beyler. "Excellence comes in surprising forms, shapes and sizes and I tell everyone to become what you want to become and don't let someone discourage you because you might not be their version of picture perfect. More importantly, as leaders, every one of you should be constantly on the lookout for that under-the-radar-talent and off-the-wall brilliant idea because great ideas and solutions often come from the most surprising places."

The symposium aspires to inspire attendees to prioritize trust, confidence, and respect within their teams. By fostering these core values, senior enlisted leaders can help create a more unified and harmonious society, laying the foundation for a peaceful tomorrow.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. Naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. 6th Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.