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Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.

"Making A Difference In Our Communities And Our Nation"

Hispanic Heritage Month

5 October 2004
Copyright © 2004 Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc. All rights reserved.

Department of Defense Documents

Department of Defense U.S. Marine Corps News

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan (Oct. 1, 2004) -- By observing a single formation of Marines, one will see that the Marine Corps is a wealth of diversity. One of the fastest growing groups in both the United States and Marine Corps is Hispanics.

For this reason, the Marine Corps, like the rest of the nation, celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

This year's theme is "Making a Difference in Our Communities and Our Nation," explained Staff Sgt. September D. Brownfield, the equal opportunity advisor for Marine Corps Base Camp Butler.

Hispanic heritage was originally celebrated in the United States as National Hispanic Heritage Week, Brownfield explained. President Ronald W. Reagan extended it to a monthlong commemoration in 1988. The celebration corresponds with the anniversaries of independence for seven Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile.

The term Hispanic is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Spanish-speaking people in the United States of any race. The Hispanic community is the fastest growing in the country and will account for about 44 percent of the population growth from 2000 to 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. About 13 percent of Marines are Hispanic and there are more than 25 Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients.

The Hispanic culture adds to the multitude of diversity seen in the Marine Corps, and will be celebrated many different ways across Okinawa by children and adults alike.

"My role as the first Hispanic Marine to achieve the rank of master gunnery sergeant in my military occupational specialty shows that Hispanic Marines can achieve anything," said Master Gunnery Sgt. Frankie Segarra, the paraloft chief, Landing Support Company, 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group.

Segarra has been in the Marine Corps for more than 20 years, and his family is originally from Puerto Rico. Segarra is of the first generation to be born in the United States, he explained.

"Hispanic Marines bring their culture to Marine Corps," Segarra said. "Hispanics have a lot of pride in their heritage."

"The contributions of Hispanics are (numerous), and the Hispanic community has done much to make this country better and stronger. In the arts and sciences, business, industry, military, sports and in all facets of American life, Hispanics have made major contributions to the growth and development of our great nation," Brownfield said.


Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler

Story Identification #: 200410614134



DOE Commemorates 'Hispanic Heritage Month'

7 October 2004

US Fed News

© Copyright 2004. Hindustan Times. All rights reserved.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 -- The U.S. Department of Energy issued the following press release:

In an effort to recognize the many valuable contributions of Hispanic Americans serving in the federal government, the Department of Energy (DOE) held a ceremony commemorating 'Hispanic Heritage Month.'

"For many years people from America's Hispanic community have made important contributions to the Department of Energy in the science and engineering field," Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said. "Our goal is to further expand the participation of Hispanic Americans throughout the department."

On September 17, 2004,President Bush proclaimed September 15, 2004, through October 15, 2004, as National Hispanic Heritage Month. The President has encouraged public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities and programs.

The keynote speaker for the department's third quarter program was former Governor Jerry Apodaca of New Mexico (1975-1979). Governor Apodaca was the first Hispanic American to serve as Governor of New Mexico since 1918.

"Now more than at anytime in history, Hispanics in the United States, are on the cutting edge of a major shift in economic and political empowerment," Governor Apodaca stated. "Government clearly understands Hispanics represent a major segment of the workforce of the future."

Following his service as governor, Apodaca had a distinguished career in education and public service. During Apodaca's administration, he accomplished the historic reorganization of New Mexico's state government system. He created the first cabinet by consolidating 112 agencies into 12 departments. His streamlining of government eliminated excesses and wastefulness and brought much needed accountability to all departments. He funded statewide kindergarten for the first time ever, and during his four-year term he provided public schools some of the largest revenue increases in history.

In 1977, he was elected Chairman of the Education Commission of the States and in 1978 he was the recipient of the Award for Distinguished Service for Higher Education. In addition, Governor Apodaca was one of the founding publishers of Hispanic Magazine and Vista Magazine.

During the ceremony, Chief Information Officer Rose Parkes, one of the highest ranking Hispanic women at the Department of Energy noted, "The Energy Department recognizes the contributions of Hispanics to this nation and is committed to improving the representation of Hispanics within the department. Improving diversity is a business imperative for this agency."

DOE has made significant strides toward diversity in the workplace. For example:

On January 14, 2004, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham signed the department's First Nationwide Hispanic Employment Plan. This comprehensive recruitment and hiring plan outlined DOE's next steps to incorporate diversity into our workforce planning efforts. OPM has recognized the plan as one of the best in government and other agencies are using parts of the plan to develop their next steps. Over the last year, a council representing more than 40 DOE offices has worked together to ensure that the plan is incorporated into program office workforce planning programs. Hispanic employment in the department grew from 5.5 percent in 2000 to over 6.1 percent today, while the department as a whole experienced some downsizing (14,600 to 13,700 today).

Annually, DOE supports recruitment and outreach efforts at Hispanic-serving institutions - the Energy Department is working to establish strong relationships with the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and the University of Texas Pan American. Both schools were featured as top schools in science and engineering for Hispanic students.

DOE is a proud supporter of the Hispanic Engineering Science and Technology Week (HESTEC) in Edinburg, Texas. DOE sponsors a solar car race and rally to give young minds an opportunity to showcase their talent and interest in science education. More than 15,000 Hispanic high school students are exposed to science and engineering during this week-long program. Our participation in HESTEC has allowed us the opportunity to work closely with the HESTEC host school, the University of Texas - Pan American to establish a source for recruitment.

DOE served as a co-sponsor of the first Greater Washington, D.C., Hispanic Youth Symposium that took place in July 2004, and brought together 100 Hispanic high school students in the Washington, D.C., area for three days and two nights of leadership development training. The program took place on the campus of Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. More than 170 adults volunteered to support the program. Students learned about financial management, college options, employment opportunities and the key ingredients for leadership. They also had a chance to take a ride in a Hydrogen Car, courtesy of General Motors Corporation. This program has changed the lives of students in the Washington area and we hope to see it continue to receive future departmental support.

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