WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy joins the nation Sept. 15 in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which will be observed through Oct. 15.
With a national theme of "Diversity United, Building America's Future Today," the observance celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
According to 2010 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics comprise 16.3 percent of the total United States population, or 50.5 million people, forming our county's largest racial or ethnic minority. Additionally, it is projected that by 2050, a quarter of the nation's workforce will be Hispanic.
The Navy's workforce reflects this diversity - today, omore than 58,000 Hispanic active duty and Reserve Sailors and officers and nearly 15,000 Hispanic civilians serve in the Navy Total Force, including four Hispanic flag officers and 172 Hispanic master chiefs.
In his 2011 National Hispanic Heritage Month Presidential Proclamation, President Barack Obama noted, "The future of America is inextricably linked to the future of our Hispanic community. Our country thrives on the diversity and ingenuity of all our people, and our ability to out innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world will depend greatly on the success of Hispanics."
All commands are encouraged to expand their awareness of Hispanic American Heritage Month through programs, exhibits, publications, and participation in military and community events. Resources for use in planning command heritage events including a video presentation about Hispanic American Heritage Month can be found online at the Navy Office of Diversity and Inclusion observances web page, http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/SUPPORT/DIVERSITY/Pages/DiversityObservances.aspx.
Commands are also encouraged to support the sea services affinity group, the Association of Naval Service Officers (ANSO). ANSO aims to foster personal growth and professional development through mentorships and networking for officers, enlisted members and civilians. More information on ANSO can be found online at http://www.ansomil.org/.
For more information about the history of Hispanics in the Navy, visit http://www.history.navy.mil/special%20highlights/hispanic/hispanic-index.htm.
For more information and resources on Hispanics in the military and Hispanic American Heritage Month, visit http://www.deomi.org/SpecialObservance/.
For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Office of Diversity and Inclusion, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp-diversity/.