Email this Article Email   

CHIPS Articles: Navy Celebrates 2017 African American/Black History Month

Navy Celebrates 2017 African American/Black History Month
By Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs - February 1, 2017
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Throughout the month of February, the Navy joins our nation in celebrating the history and culture of African American and Black Sailors during National African American/Black History Month.

ALNAV 006/17 encourages participation in all the heritage celebrations and special observances throughout the year. Sailors and Navy commands are encouraged to use this month to celebrate and recognize the exceptional and distinctive contributions and the unique histories and cultures that our African American/Black shipmates bring to our Navy.

This month's observance has its origins in 1915 when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Dr. Woodson and the association initiated the first Negro History Week in February 1926.Every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as National African American/Black History Month since 1976.

"The greatest strength in our Navy comes not from weapons but from the diversity of our people." said Rear Adm. Stephen Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command. "Every day, Sailors of diverse race, gender, religion, ideas, and background work together to accomplish the extraordinary."

African American and Black Sailors and civilians are an integral part of the One Navy Team. Nineteen percent of Navy's enlisted force identifies as African American or Black, to include 17 percent of all senior and master chiefs, while seven percent of the officer force and four percent of all admirals identify as the same.

In the Navy's civilian workforce, 15 percent are African American or Black and 20 are Senior Executive Service members.

A diverse workforce positions the Navy to operate successfully around the globe by bringing together Sailors and civilians with different ideas, experiences, perspectives, capabilities and skill sets. Integrating Sailors and civilians from diverse backgrounds into the force allows the Navy to recruit and retain the nation's top talent from a wider pool of skilled personnel.

"The call to serve our great nation comes with a responsibility to push yourself to be at your best, to be ready," Evans said. "Training and education are vital to readiness, which is why we strive to attract talent from diverse pools of future leaders and provide them the highest quality naval accession training."

The Navy partners with organizations including the National Naval Officers Association, the National Society of Black Engineers, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in support of African American service members and civilians. The navy supports Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs encouraging young minority students to pursue careers in science and industry.

A complete educational presentation, including a downloadable educational poster on African American/Black History month, can be requested from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) by email at

For more information, visit,, or

For information from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

BREMERTON, Wash. (Feb. 26, 2015) Aviation Boatswain
BREMERTON, Wash. (Feb. 26, 2015) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuel) Airman Myste Shadie, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuel) 3rd Class Carl Johnson and Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuel) Airman Shalida Dixon recite a poem during an African-American History Month ceremony aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis. John C. Stennis (CVN 74) is undergoing an operational training period in preparation for future deployments. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ignacio D. Perez/Released
Related CHIPS Articles

CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

Online ISSN 2154-1779; Print ISSN 1047-9988
Hyperlink Disclaimer