PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny Arsenal employees observed Black History Month with a discussion panel made up of senior African American leaders. The celebration, hosted by Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PMSW), was held on Feb. 21 at the Lindner Conference Center.The panel included Steffanie B. Easter, Vice Director, Navy Staff; Brig. Gen. Alfred F. Abramson III, Commanding General Picatinny Arsenal and Program Executive Officer Ammunition; and Col. Elliott Caggins, PMSW.This year's theme, "African Americans in Times of War," was presented in a detailed timeline by Lt. Col. Jeffrey Ivey, Picatinny Arsenal Garrison Commander.The three leaders discussed their upbringings, their choice of professions and the challenges they encountered during their careers. Along with installation employees, a group of students from Lincoln High School in Yonkers, New York, attended the observance and could ask questions of the panelists.Black History Month began in 1926 and was founded by Carter G. Woodson. Originally the event lasted a week. But in 1976, the 100th anniversary of the United States, the week was extended to one month, allowing for more inclusion of activities and programs.Each February, the United States Army honors the contributions of African American men and women in building the nation.