OBSERVANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2014

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R 272200Z JAN 14 PSN 154933K25
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NAVADMIN 016/14

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 SUBJ/OBSERVANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2014//



 RMKS/1.  This NAVADMIN announces the national observance of African 
American/Black History Month from 1-28 February 2014.  The national and 
Department of Defense theme for this year's observance is "Civil Rights in 
America."

2.  The recognition of African American/Black History Month originated in 
1926 as Negro History Week.  Observed during the second week of February, a 
week that encompassed the birthdays of two champions of equality, Abraham 
Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, the event brought national recognition to 
African American contributions to America throughout her history.  50 years 
after its creation, during the bicentennial of the United States in 1976, 
President Gerald R. Ford expanded the observance and proclaimed February to 
be Black History Month.  This year's theme, "Civil Rights in America," 
acknowledges some of America's greatest advocates for social justice - 
Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Fanny Lou 
Hamer.

3.  African American Sailors have served the United States honorably through 
every major armed conflict since the Revolutionary War, including Operation 
ODYSSEY DAWN and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.  To date, there have been 87 
African American Congressional Medal of Honor award recipients, including 
eight African American Sailors who were bestowed the award for their actions 
during the Civil War.  
Today, African American Sailors comprise more than 17 percent of the Navy's 
active-duty force, participating in every facet of naval operations.  The 
nearly 54,500 active-duty Sailors, reserve Sailors, and Navy civilians 
contribute to our Navy's efforts and represent the diversity that makes our 
Navy and nation strong.

4.  Among the many African American Sailors who have served with distinction 
are those forging the way for freedom and equality.  
LCDR Wesley A. Brown, who passed away on 22 May 2012, became the first 
African American graduate of the United States Naval Academy when he was 
commissioned in 1949.  Brown joined the Navy's Civil Engineer Corps and his 
determination and success blazed a trail for future African American Sailors 
striving for equality.  Edna Young, the first African American woman to 
enlist in the regular Navy and later the first African American woman to 
achieve the rank of Chief Petty Officer.  Young joined the Navy after the 
passage of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 7 July 1948.  Vice 
Admiral Michelle Howard has many firsts to her credit including being the 
first female United States Naval Academy graduate to be promoted to the rank 
of admiral, first black female to command a combatant ship, and the first 
black female promoted to two-star and three-star admiral.  She has also been 
Senate-confirmed to serve as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, the service's 
number 2 uniformed officer.  She will be the first black and first woman to 
hold the job and the first female four-star admiral.  These outstanding 
examples of African American Sailors are just a handful of those making 
history.

5.  All commands are strongly encouraged to utilize this month to increase 
their understanding and awareness of the many contributions African Americans 
have made to the Navy by supporting programs, exhibits, publications, and 
participation in military and community events.  More information on 
diversity conferences, events, and observances is available at the Navy 
Diversity and Inclusion web site at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-
npc/support/21st_Century_Sailor/diversity/Pages/default2.aspx.  A showcase of 
African Americans in naval history can be found on the Naval History and 
Heritage Command webpage at 
http://www.history.Navy.mil/special%20highlights/africanamerican/african-
hist.htm.

6.  Point of contact is LCDR Shaletha Moran, at (703) 604-5081 or via e-mail 
shaletha.moran(at)navy.mil, or Ms. Shirley Copeland, at
(703) 604-5080 or via e-mail shirley.copeland(at)navy.mil. 

7.  This NAVADMIN will remain in effect until 1 March 2014.

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

BT
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