Black History Month

From Commander, Military Sealift Command

Black History Month

Our special emphasis program continues this month with the observance of Black History Month. With this recognition period, we are presented with an opportunity to learn, raise awareness and celebrate the rich history and contributions of African Americans to our Navy and Nation.

The Department of Defense theme for this period is “Black Migrations,” and emphasizes the movement of African Americans to new destinations and new social realities. Throughout the month you will see information detailing the achievements of African Americans from all walks of life: inventors, scientists, astronauts, actor/actresses, politicians, sports figures and others.

African Americans have a long and distinguished tradition of service in the U.S. Navy. For us at MSC, 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)

Included in this distinguished group are Medal of Honor recipients, a civil rights leader, an explorer, a surgeon and medical researcher, and military members who overcame significant adversity to achieve great success. In addition, the first ship in the new class of fleet replenishment oiler (T-AO 205) is named after African American civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis.

We can take great pride in the achievements of these African Americans and know that their legacy lives on in our work at MSC. Their examples of courage and fortitude should motivate us to be “greater each day.”

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. For the Headquarters, next week on Wednesday, at Vista Point at 1300, we will celebrate 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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