USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) came together to recognize Hispanic Americans' impact on their country and military alike during a Hispanic Heritage celebration Oct. 12.
The Nimitz multicultural committee put the event together to recognize and raise awareness about the contributions Hispanics have made to the U.S. Navy.
This year's Hispanic Heritage Month theme is "Diversity united, building America's future today."
"Diversity in the Navy is good because it brings people from different backgrounds and experiences together as one fighting force," said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Adrian Ramirez Rodriguez, multicultural committee member.
Sept. 17, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated a week in mid September as National Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended that week to a month-long observance spanning from Sept.15 to Oct.15. The National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for Americans to educate themselves about the influences Hispanic culture has had on society.
"It's important to recognize the different cultures and their contributions," said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Lorena Gutierrez, multicultural committee member. "We have a little bit of everything in the military. Learning about the different cultures helps us better understand the people we work with on a daily basis."
The event featured a brief history lesson on some of the biggest Hispanic contributors to the U.S. Navy followed by a cake cutting ceremony.
"Like many other cultures, Hispanics have made huge progress since they first arrived in America, not only in the military but across the country and I am proud to celebrate this month," said Ramirez Rodriguez.
There are more than 50,000 Hispanic Americans serving in the Navy today as both enlisted and officer.
"We bring so much more than ourselves to the Navy," said Gutierrez. "We bring our culture and traditions."
Celebrations like these can help raise cultural awareness, morale and form bonds between Sailors. The development of these relationships is essential to the Navy's maritime strategy by keeping Sailors working together to accomplish daily missions as one.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Nimitz (CVN 68), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn68/.