WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy joins the nation Sept. 15 in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which will be observed until Oct. 15.
With a national theme of "Hispanics: Serving and Leading Our Nation with Pride and Honor," 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.
Today, more than 58,000 Hispanic active duty and Reserve Sailors serve in the Navy, including five Hispanic flag officers and 216 Hispanic master chiefs.
In his 2012 National Hispanic Heritage Month Presidential Proclamation, President Barack Obama stated that "our Nation's story would not be possible without generations of Hispanics who have shaped and strengthened the fabric of our Union. They have enriched every aspect of our national identity with traditions that stretch across centuries and reflect the many ancestries that comprise the Hispanic community."
All commands are encouraged to expand their awareness of Hispanic heritage through programs, exhibits, publications, and participation in military and community events.
For more information about the history of Hispanics in the Navy, visit http://www.history.navy.mil/special%20highlights/hispanic/hispanic-index.htm.
The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute provides printable posters, presentations, guidance for organizing observance, and educational facts on their website, http://www.deomi.org/ under the section "Special Observances."
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