Every year, the Army celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and the 742nd Military Intelligence Battalion has amazing Soldiers who have made their footprint in the Army who represent Hispanic heritage.
Maj. Alberto Castro, 742nd Military Intelligence Battalion S3 officer-in-charge (OIC), celebrates his Hispanic culture which he says has helped shaped him into the high-speed Soldier he is today.
Castro is a first generation American, born in Long Island, New York. His parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic in the 1970s.
"I always valued the sacrifices my mom and dad made...family is the nucleus," Castro said.
He comes from an immediate family of three sisters. His mom worked as a factory worker and his father worked as a car salesman in New York throughout his youth.
A big part of his family tradition included weekly family gatherings at his grandmother's house for food, games, and catching up with loved ones. Family has always been considered the core of life for him.
According to reports, the representation of Hispanic-Americans on active duty has increased by 10 percent during the past 30 years. In 1985, it was at just three percent.
"When I look at my military service, I look at it as giving back to my country...and working hard is giving back to my parents," he said.
Maj. Castro went to Cadet Basic Training at United States Military Academy West Point on June 29, 1999.
He originally joined because he wanted to take advantage of the educational opportunities, gain discipline, and have job security after he graduated college.
Now, 18 years later, reflecting on his Army career, he gives this advice to young Soldiers, both enlisted and officers alike, "Learn to be a servant leader, the ability to take care of your Soldiers translates to the ability to take care of employees."
He emphasized that the Army is still "one team, one fight" and the fact that we all come from different backgrounds just shows our military's strength in diversity.