A Cuban who has been in the United States for 15 years is the current chief petty officer of the Miami Navy, where he helps soldiers who, like him, joined the Army without mastering English.
Ana Marrerosuarez, who emigrated with his family from Havana at the age of 19, got where he is thanks to the values he was taught since he was little at home.
“I grew up in a very poor country; I didn’t have food many days a month; I didn’t have clothes; I grew up poor,” he said in an interview shared on the website of the Ministry of Defense.
“My mother is my biggest hero. She used to tell me that I can achieve anything I want, that there are no impossibilities, and that the only obstacles are in my mind: ‘As long as you have a positive attitude, you can go anywhere you want…'” he recalled.
Ana joined the Navy without knowing how to speak English. In training camp, when orders were given, he had to look to others to figure out what to do.
Seven years after graduation, he returned to the recruit training command, but now as chief. His command of Spanish helped him help other immigrant soldiers.
“I told them and told them that I was in their place too and that things will get better, but it will take time, perseverance, and dedication,” he explained.
In this Cuban opinion, discipline is essential to success.
“Drive is something we all have, but it takes self-discipline to achieve things. If you wait until you’re motivated, you won’t get there,” he emphasized.
Looking back, he thinks it’s crazy that just 15 years ago he was living in a country where he couldn’t express his ideas and didn’t have food or clothes.
“I am now the chief of the United States Navy. I am very proud of that and how far I have come, from nothing to a leader, able to inspire and help other people with similar backgrounds,” he added.