CNO and USNA Midshipmen Celebrate Black History Month

22 February 2021
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday met with Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy to record a video celebrating Black History Month, Feb. 20.

02:20
VIDEO | 02:20 | CNO and USNA Midshipmen Celebrate Black History Month

Below is a transcript of the video you can see here:

CNO: Shipmates, CNO Gilday here at the United States Naval Academy with Midshipman First Class Sydney Barber and other senior Brigade leadership to celebrate Black History Month.

BARBER: Thank you CNO. This month we recognize and pay tribute to Black Americans who have worn the cloth of our nation and our Navy. We celebrate their service, their achievements and their countless contributions to our force.

CNO: Throughout our 245 year history, generations of Black Americans have served our Navy honorably, often without the recognition they so deserved. Many others have given their lives for this nation - in peace and in war - and several of their names are enshrined on these walls behind us, here in Memorial Hall.

BARBER: Today, there are more than 67,000 Black Sailors - approximately 17% of the Navy - who serve on active duty and in the reserves in nearly every job. And we serve proudly today knowing several amazing trailblazers have paved the way for us to do so.

CNO: That’s right, Sydney. Sailors like Adm. Cecil Haney & Adm. Michelle Howard, Fleet Master Chief April Beldo and Command Master Chief Dee Allen smashed through barriers, proving anything is possible. Others like Dorrie Miller, Carl Brashear, and the Golden 13, exemplified tremendous courage leaving an indelible mark on our Navy and our Nation.

BARBER: To those who have gone before us, thank you. And to those serving today… remember that it is our stories, and our choices, and our careers that will inspire the next generation of Black Americans to serve.

CNO: As we continue to celebrate the accomplishment of Black Americans throughout the month of February, I urge you to take time to reflect. Reflect on the past, and reflect on what we want the future to be. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” … That right time is right now.

BARBER: Respect each other, and honor our shared history.

CNO: We’ll see you in the Fleet, Shipmates.

CNO: Shipmates, CNO Gilday here at the United States Naval Academy with Midshipman First Class Sydney Barber and other senior Brigade leadership to celebrate Black History Month.

BARBER: Thank you CNO. This month we recognize and pay tribute to Black Americans who have worn the cloth of our nation and our Navy. We celebrate their service, their achievements and their countless contributions to our force.

CNO: Throughout our 245 year history, generations of Black Americans have served our Navy honorably, often without the recognition they so deserved. Many others have given their lives for this nation - in peace and in war - and several of their names are enshrined on these walls behind us, here in Memorial Hall.

BARBER: Today, there are more than 67,000 Black Sailors - approximately 17% of the Navy - who serve on active duty and in the reserves in nearly every job. And we serve proudly today knowing several amazing trailblazers have paved the way for us to do so.

CNO: That’s right, Sydney. Sailors like Adm. Cecil Haney & Adm. Michelle Howard, Fleet Master Chief April Beldo and Command Master Chief Dee Allen smashed through barriers, proving anything is possible. Others like Dorrie Miller, Carl Brashear, and the Golden 13, exemplified tremendous courage leaving an indelible mark on our Navy and our Nation.

BARBER: To those who have gone before us, thank you. And to those serving today… remember that it is our stories, and our choices, and our careers that will inspire the next generation of Black Americans to serve.

CNO: As we continue to celebrate the accomplishment of Black Americans throughout the month of February, I urge you to take time to reflect. Reflect on the past, and reflect on what we want the future to be. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” … That right time is right now.

BARBER: Respect each other, and honor our shared history.

CNO: We’ll see you in the Fleet, Shipmates.

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