In honor of Black History Month, the Navy is shining a light on African-American sailors and civilians who have put their lives on the line to fight for our country, the Navy reported.
The month-long celebration—dubbed “African Americans in Times of War”—focuses on the journeys of Black people who served in there military throughout history; dating from the Revolutionary War to 21st-century battles.
“We should celebrate our unique backgrounds because each Sailor brings something different to the fight and this makes us a stronger, more lethal team,” Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of the Carl Vinson Strike Group, said in a statement released Thursday. “Those serving today owe our success to the veterans who transformed our Navy into a more diverse force.”
According to the Navy, African-Americans account for nearly 17 percent of the sailor population. There are more than 58,000 Black people who are enlisted and 5,000 who serve as officers. There are several African-Americans who hold high-powered roles in the Navy.
The Navy has launched several outreach initiatives that are specifically designed for the Black community. Through the creation of youth development programs, the Navy has been exposing youngsters from diverse backgrounds to careers in STEM and has partnered with several HBCUs, the National Society of Black Engineers, and other organizations and institutions to develop programs that provide support for African-Americans who have served.
The narratives of African-Americans who have served in the military throughout history are coming to the forefront. In efforts to shed a light on the unsung stories of Black veterans, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., created an exhibition that details the sacrifices that these individuals made for our country.