Admiral Mike Mullen at US Air Force Academy graduation.
Full speech over at Naval Leadership
And then from his commencement address to Florida A&M:
Mullen recalled going to a diversity conference in New Orleans in 2005, when he was serving as chief of naval operations.
“I walked in with my immediate staff, which was all white males,” he said. “A young officer from the Coast Guard sent me a note after that that said, ‘You have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.’ He wasn’t happy with what my staff looked like.
“About 18 months later in my home,” he continued, “I was having a farewell party for my immediate staff of about 15 to 20 officers, and I stood back and looked at that immediate staff, and I THINK I WAS THE ONLY WHITE MALE IN THE GROUP.”
“It was absolutely the best staff I’d ever had,” he recalled. “And I can’t remember if there was a white male on that staff.”
What struck him, the admiral said, is the missed opportunities of the past and HOW LONG IT TOOK HIM TO FIGURE IT OUT.
“In fact, all I did was create opportunities for them, and they excelled,” he said. “They made me better, they made our Navy better, and I stood there looking at what I could have done had I figured this out earlier. And I would urge you to think that way, because you are young – to reach out and make sure you grasp and take advantage of the diversity that we have as a country. It will become more and more critical in the future.”
Full article here. As the Admiral notes: "...success in a life of service is a product of guidance, grace and love from leaders and mentors."