Pacific Fleet Commander Lauds Contributions of Navy's Hispanic Leaders

Story Number: NNS080911-13Release Date: 9/11/2008 4:47:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Luke J. Perry, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- In his latest edition of the "Rat-Pac Report" podcast, posted Sept. 10, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. Robert F. Willard discusses the important contributions Hispanic Americans have made in helping shape the Navy as well as the nation.

"Our Hispanic Sailors have a marvelous legacy to look back on in the Navy and are a key, very relevant and important part of our Navy today," said Willard.

Willard noted that contributions date back to the beginning of our nation with Adm. David Farragut, one of the Navy's first Hispanic leaders.

"Admiral Farragut was the son of a Spanish captain, and he helped us win the Revolutionary War," said Willard. "He was one of our Navy's most notable, early Hispanic leaders."

Adm. Farragut -- known for his rallying cry "Damn the Torpedoes!" -- successfully commanded Union naval forces during the Civil War, propelling him to be the first officer in the U.S. Navy to receive the rank of admiral.

The current number of Hispanic Sailors and civilians supporting today's Navy exceeds 63,000 or 11 percent of the total workforce. Navy leaders predict that number to increase.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Hispanic labor force is expected to grow from approximately 20 million to almost 50 million, equaling 25 percent of the total labor force by 2050.

"If the future of the Navy is going to mirror our nation, then undoubtedly we will see our Hispanic contribution within the Navy grow," said Willard. "We will have an increasing number of Hispanic Sailors and leaders."

The Rat-Pac Report is a weekly podcast Willard uses to discuss Maritime Strategy, Navy heritage and strategic issues.

To listen to the Rat-Pac Report podcasts, visit

For more news from Pacific Fleet, visit

Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) march in a Glorias Navales parade.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99), marching in a Glorias Navales parade in Punta Arenas, Chile last May. Farragut, named after the Navy's first admiral, Hispanic American ADM David Farragut, supported Partnership of the Americas 2008. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class J.T. Bolestridge (Released)
May 23, 2008
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