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SECNAV Message on Hispanic Heritage Month

16 September 2021
Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro video message to the Department of the Navy, September 15, 2021, on Hispanic Heritage Month.

VIDEO | 01:22 | SECNAV Del Toro Hispanic Heritage Month Remarks

1.  From September 15 through October 15, we observe Hispanic Heritage Month to remember the many contributions of the Hispanic Sailors and Marines who have served throughout the history of our force.

2.  Today, nearly one in every four Marines is Hispanic - over 52,000.  There are over 67,000 Hispanics serving in our Navy over 16% of the fleet.

3.  We remember Submariners like Captain Marion Fredric Ramirez de Arellano, who served with distinction beneath the Pacific waves throughout World War II.  Medal of Honor recipients like First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, the first Marine up the seawall at Inchon.  Aviators like my friend Lieutenant Commander Everett Alvarez Jr., who endured 8 years of captivity in North Vietnam.  Leaders like Major General Angela Salinas, the first Latina General Officer in the Marine Corps. And Sailors and Marines of Hispanic descent, like Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Corporal Hunter Lopez, Corporal Humberto Sanchez, and Lance Corporal David Espinoza, who sacrificed their lives in defense of our nation.

4.  As we reflect on the accomplishments of these heroes of the past and present, we recognize the strides we have made to ensure Sailors and Marines of all races, genders, religions, and ethnicities are treated with dignity and respect.  We are strengthened by the diversity of our force, especially those of every Hispanic American who serves our Navy-Marine Corps team today.

5.  I am proud to serve alongside each and every one of you.  And I am grateful for all that you, and your families, do in defense of our Nation.


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