WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy joins the nation in celebrating Hispanic Americans during Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15-Oct. 15.
ALNAV 006/17 encourages participation in all the heritage celebrations and special observances throughout the year. This year, Navy commands are encouraged to celebrate and reflect on the theme "Shaping the Bright Future of America."
The observation began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, it was expanded by President Ronald Reagan to cover a 30-day period, paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. The unique dates of this heritage month were chosen to encompass the Independence Day anniversaries for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile.
"I am intensely proud of my Hispanic heritage," said Rear Adm. Christina Alvarado, deputy chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, reserve policy and integration. "Both family and heritage are an essential part of who I am. I encourage every Hispanic Sailor to wear their heritage with pride and share it freely. Use the experiences of our unique heritage to show the world the complexity and fullness of your talents."
The One Navy Team is made up of Hispanic American Sailors and civilians. Hispanic Americans serve in every rank from seamen to admiral, and hold nearly every job from naval aviator to deep-sea diver. Seventeen percent of the Navy's enlisted force identifies as Hispanic American, including 1,118 senior and master chiefs. Eight percent of the officer force and four percent of all admirals identify as the same.
There are more than 12,000 Hispanic American civilians working for the Department of the Navy.
A diverse workforce positions the Navy to operate successfully around the globe by bringing together Sailors and civilians with different ideas, experiences, perspectives, capabilities and skill sets. Integrating Sailors and civilians from diverse backgrounds into the force allows the Navy to recruit and retain the nation's top talent from a wider pool of skilled personnel.
The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute provides printable posters, presentation, guidance for organizing observance and education facts on their website, http://www.deomi.org/ under the section "Special Observances."
For more information about the history of Hispanic Americans and their numerous contributions to the Navy, visit www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/diversity/hispanic-americans-in-the-navy.html/.
For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp.