National African American/Black History Month

This week we begin our observance of National African American/Black History Month.

This special month provides us with two opportunities. First, we can learn, understand and teach about the rich history and traditions, and contributions of African Americans to our Navy and Nation.  Second, we can use this month as a time to challenge ourselves to see the value of diversity and how our military and our country are strengthened by the diversity of our people.



Throughout the month you will see or receive information detailing the achievements of African Americans in our Nation’s history. African Americans have a long tradition of service dating back to the Continental Navy, to today, where we have African Americans in the most senior leadership positions.  For us, it is fitting to recognize and list the ships in our fleet named in honor of African Americans and remember their service and sacrifice to our Nation.  Those ships include:

USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7)

USNS Charlton (T-AKR 314)

USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10)

USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13)

USNS Henson (T-AGS 63)

USNS Watson (T-AKR 310)

USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1)

MV SSG Edward A. Carter, Jr (T-AK 4544)

We can take great pride in the achievements of these African Americans and know that their legacy lives on in our work at MSC.

This month also gives us an opportunity to challenge ourselves. We know that our Navy benefits from a diverse workforce.  Now is the time to move beyond understanding and look for specific openings where we can positively affect diversity and equality.  These opportunities might include recruiting events and hiring practices, or simply having a dialogue with coworkers to better understand their perspective.  We can best honor those who have stood up and served our country by continuing the forward momentum in the areas of diversity and racial equality.

Later this month we’ll have an opportunity to celebrate African American/Black History Month together with a program and guest speaker. I encourage everyone working in the headquarters area to attend this event.  Those working at other locations should look for opportunities to participate in special observance activities taking place on your installation or in the local community.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command


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