ESG-2 Marks Hispanic Heritage Month

Expeditionary Strike Group 2’s (ESG-2) Multi-Cultural Committee presented a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration Sept. 27, highlighting the contributions of Hispanics throughout the history of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

The event was held as part of the nationally recognized Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. This year’s theme is “Hispanics: Leading and serving our nation with pride and honor.”

“Hispanic men and women make a tremendous contribution to the Fleet,” said Rear Adm. Rick Snyder, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, during his remarks to the staff. “Their talent, leadership, and experiences contribute to the diversity that makes the U.S. Navy unique.”

Highlighting the achievements and progress of Hispanics in the military, the presenters shared personal stories and experiences.

“We are all here to accomplish a mission,” Snyder said. “Race cannot have a bearing on how we go about that – there is simply no other way to function as a team.”

Today, more than 58,000 Hispanic active duty and Reserve Sailors; and 40,731 Hispanic Marines serve the nation. Of those nearly 100,000 service members, seven are flag or general officers and 230 have earned the rank of master chief or sergeant major.

“Although I bring Hispanic diversity to the Marine Corps, I see myself as ‘green’; the only color of Marines,” said GySgt. Mario Pacheco, ESG-2’s combat cargo assistant. “America has many faces – I am extremely proud that I am part of an organization that comes together and embraces them under one uniform. Overseas, people see us as Americans. This speaks volumes to our unity as a service.”

Generations of Hispanics are recognized for shaping and strengthening the nation. As a tribute, the Navy has named 12 warships in honor of Navy and Marine Corps Hispanic-American heroes to include USS Farragut (DDG 99) and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66).

At the conclusion of the ceremony, members partook of traditional Hispanic food provided by staff members.

“Learning about the experiences of your peers and others that wear the uniform is informative and necessary,” said Chief Intelligence Specialist Kimberly Hodge, ESG-2’s intelligence leading chief petty officer. “The military as a whole has benefited from diversity – it is a path I hope the rest of the country can follow.”

Press Release, October 01, 2013