OBSERVANCE OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH 2013

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SUBJ/OBSERVANCE OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH 2013// 



RMKS/1.  This NAVADMIN announces the observance of Hispanic Heritage Month 
from 15 September to 15 October 2013.  This observance is an opportunity for 
our Navy to celebrate the contributions of generations of Hispanic Americans 
to our naval heritage.  The national theme for this year is "Hispanics:  
Serving and Leading Our Nation with Pride and Honor." 

2.  Tracing its origins to September 1968 when President Lyndon B. 
Johnson proclaimed a National Hispanic Heritage Week, the observance expanded 
to a month-long celebration in 1988.  President Ronald Reagan expanded the 
observance to a month to recognize and honor the histories, cultures, and 
contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, the 
Caribbean, and Central and South America. 

3.  The Navy derives strength from the diverse talent and heritage of our 
Sailors.  Hispanic Sailors have played a vital role in Navy tradition and 
execution of mission since the founding of our nation.
Today, 15.4 percent of the active duty naval force is Hispanic.  
Nearly 50,000 active duty Sailors and 8,500 reservists identify as Hispanic, 
to include five flag officers and 216 master chief petty officers.  Involved 
in every aspect of naval operations, Hispanic Sailors provide unique 
experiences and perspectives that enhance the cultural understanding of their 
commands and lead to greater mission readiness.

4.  Hispanic Americans have had a profound and positive influence on our 
nation and our Navy.  The first distinguished examples of leadership in a 
long history of service by Hispanic patriots are Jorge Anthony Magin 
Farragut, whose service spanned through the Revolutionary War and the War of 
1812, and his son David Glasgow Farragut, the first officer to attain the 
rank of Admiral in 1866.  
Hispanic Americans have served honorably and with valor in every armed 
conflict since the nation's founding.  Since 1861, 41 Hispanic Americans have 
been awarded the Medal of Honor.  In the last decade, Hispanic Sailors 
continue to distinguish themselves, Hospital Corpsman Luis Fonseca, Jr. was 
awarded the Navy Cross for saving the lives of U.S. Marines in Iraq under 
heavy enemy fire in 2004.  In 2009, Hospital Corpsman Second Class Phillip 
Azevedo received a Bronze Star for his actions during a 12-month individual 
augmentee deployment to Afghanistan.  Hispanic Americans service and naval 
leadership is not limited to military service.  In 1979, Edward Hidalgo 
became the first Hispanic Secretary of the Navy.  Recently, in 2009, Juan M. 
Garcia, III, a second-generation naval aviator who served both on active duty 
and in the Navy Reserve, continued his service and leadership when he was 
confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve 
Affairs).  Our Hispanic Sailors continue to serve and honor a long legacy of 
naval leadership. 
5.  All commands are strongly encouraged to increase their knowledge and 
awareness of Hispanic Heritage Month through programs, exhibits, 
publications, and participation in military and community events. 
Presentations on Hispanic Heritage Month are available on the Defense Equal 
Opportunity Management Institute web site at 
http://www.deomi.org/SPECIALOBSERVANCE/PRESENTATIONS.CFM?CATID=6.  A showcase 
of Hispanic Americans in naval history can be found on the Naval History and 
Heritage Command webpage at
http://www.history.navy.mil/special%20highlights/hispanic/hispanic-
index.htm.  

6.  Point of Contact is LT Deirdre Collins, N134, at (703) 604-5075 or via 
email at deirdre.collins(at)navy.mil.

7.  Released by Vice Admiral W. F. Moran, N1.//

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