My ANSO Story
My name is CAPT Albert Angel and I am a Naval Intelligence Officer currently assigned to the Office of the Naval Inspector General in Washington DC. My ANSO story is typical of many Hispanic Sailors serving in the Navy today. I am the son of immigrants and my parents were determined to build a better life the United States. My mother emigrated from Guadalajara, Mexico while my father emigrated from Bogota, Colombia. My sister and I were born in Southern California and spent the first few years of our youth in an immigrant community in Los Angeles, speaking mostly Spanish (our first language) until we moved to the suburbs five years later. My father worked as a gardener until he retired and my mother barely graduated high school but they instilled in us the belief that we could accomplish anything we set our minds to and that education was the key to success. There were two events in my youth that shaped my desire to join the Navy. It all began in 1981 when I was 10 years old and met Mr. Rick Gribble, a former Naval Submariner who graduated from the US Naval Academy Class of ’75. He was my Catholic Catechism teacher and would be the mentor who planted the seeds that would bloom into my lifelong Navy journey. Three years after meeting Mr. Gribble, my parents were naturalized in the summer of 1984 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. I had never seen them as proud and happy as they were when they took their oaths of citizenship. My dad was a man of few words but he told me and my sister that America was the greatest country in the world and that you can never go wrong by serving her. I guess my sister and I took his words literally because she would retire as a Marine Corps Master Sergeant and I will reach 30 years commissioned service in June 2024. I would enlist in the Navy in 1989 before getting accepted to the Naval Academy in the Summer of 1990.
During my career in the Navy I shied away from joining ANSO until I reached the rank of LCDR and was the Executive Officer at Navy Information Operations Command in San Antonio, Texas. It was during this time that ANSO was holding its annual symposium in San Antonio and a young LT “guilted” me into not only joining but becoming a life member as well. I had no excuse for not being active with ANSO since I was very familiar with ANSO since my days in Annapolis. I was the Vice President of the Latin American Studies Club and ANSO hosted a lunch for graduating Naval Academy seniors with the Hispanic Caucus in the Capitol. I wasn’t necessarily trying to avoid ANSO but kept putting off committing to the organization until the “right tame” came around. Since then I have embraced my ANSO membership and truly enjoy the mentoring opportunities, such as with the Naval Academy Latin American Studies Club, and I look forward to supporting the newly appointed ANSO leadership in the DC chapter. I have been blessed throughout my career with the opportunities to continue studying, traveling, and working with the finest Sailors in the world. My parents are proudest of my academic accomplishments and opportunities to travel since joining the Navy, especially since they didn’t have the same opportunities to see the world. I graduated from the Naval Academy in 1994 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a Minor in Spanish. I received an M.S. from the US Army War College and a Space Systems Certificate from the Naval Postgraduate School. In 2016 I completed the Emerging Leaders Executive course at Harvard and in 2018 completed a National Security Fellowship at MIT’s Center for International Studies. During my career as a Surface Warfare Officer and Naval Intelligence Officer, I’ve completed eight deployments, including two ground deployments with NATO in Afghanistan and the United Nations in North Africa. I’ve traveled to 73 countries across six continents and even got to sail on the USS CONSTITUTION around Boston Harbor during 4th of July celebrations. The Navy has been very good to me and my family and ANSO is an opportunity to give back and share with the next generation the many opportunities to those who want to serve and succeed in our great Navy.