Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command to be Inducted into Puerto Rico Distinguished Veterans Hall Of Fame – DVIDS

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Icon Oct 3, 2021

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Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, has been the recipient of many awards and accolades during his nearly 30 years of service in the United States Navy. He can count Defense Superior Service, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service, the Navy Commendation, and the Navy Achievement Medals among his military decorations and alongside his Navy League of the United States 2016 John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership. Velez can even include his proudest accomplishment, that of being appointed as an honorary Chief Petty Officer by Command Master Chief, Steve Fontenot onboard USS Donald Cook, on his highly decorated resume. However, the most recent honor bestowed upon Velez seeks to immortalize and exhibit his career so that future generations can look upon his accomplishments and envision themselves achieving them. Velez is scheduled to be inducted into the Puerto Rico Distinguished Veterans Hall of Fame on Nov. 8 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
According to the Office of the Veteran’s Advocate for Puerto Rico, induction into the Hall of Fame is awarded to Puerto Rican veterans whose character and distinguished accomplishments, either with the United States Armed Forces or in their civilian careers, exemplify professional excellence or meritorious contributions to society.
“It is a great honor to be selected to be inducted into the Puerto Rico Distinguished Veterans Hall of Fame. I am very proud of my Puerto Rican heritage and it is my hope that those who see me in the Hall of Fame are inspired by my story and my career,” said Velez. “I hope it drives them to achieve their own definitions of success and selfless service.”
In order to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, an individual must be nominated by a third party who has knowledge of the nominee’s accomplishments, says retired Army Brig. Gen. Fernando Fernandez, who is currently serving as the President for the Puerto Rico Distinguished Veterans Hall of Fame. The nomination package is then sent to the Board of Directors comprised of five members, including the Veteran’s Advocate for Puerto Rico. The board reviews the packages and then selects inductees based on their accomplishments throughout their military careers as well as their contributions to society in the fields of education, arts, sciences, sports, industry, government and community service. War and combat veterans are given priority for induction and the nine Puerto Rican recipients of the Medal of Honor were automatically inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2021 is composed of 16 inductees including, including Rear Adm. Velez. His fellow inductees include such noteworthy veterans as Roberto Clemente, Baseball Major League Hall of Famer and former Marine, Major General Miguel A. Correa, Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command, and Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) Jose L. Silva Diaz, former Command Sergeant Major of the United States Quartermaster Corps.
“Rear Adm. Velez was selected for induction based on his distinguished naval career, which includes being a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, command at sea onboard USS Fitzgerald and USS San Jacinto, service as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and assignment as Commander of Navy Recruiting Command, being the first Hispanic to do so,” said Fernandez.
“As a Hispanic American, I hope one of my lasting contributions will be my focus on diversifying our ranks,” said Velez. “It has been an enduring interest of mine since I joined the Navy, and at the forefront of almost every conversation I have had since taking command of recruiting. Our strength is in our diversity. Our voices are important, our experiences are relevant, and our participation is vital.”
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, and 26 Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, go to Follow Navy Recruiting on Facebook (, Twitter (@USNRecruiter) and Instagram (@USNRecruiter).
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