Hispanic Heritage Month 2023: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America

By Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Reed-CoxSeptember 15, 2023

Hispanic Heritage Month 2023: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America
National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, marks a time to showcase and honor the many contributions Hispanic Americans have made to the Army and the nation. Throughout the month, we will highlight U.S. Army South Soldiers who represent the Hispanic community with pride, each adding their own distinct and dynamic perspective to the Army’s story.

(U.S. Army graphic by Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Cox, U.S. Army South) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Reed-Cox)

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – Hispanics have helped carry forward the legacy of this country as a beacon of opportunity for all with a sturdy work ethic and a profound devotion to Family, faith, and passion. They represent an array of distinct and vibrant cultures, each of which enriches communities in valuable ways.

Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South Americas.

“It is dedicated time to celebrate the traits that makes us unique and add to the flavor of our culture,” said Sgt. Major Angela Guigni Hernandez, the U.S. Army South chief religious affairs NCO. “The traits that we all bring from our particular backgrounds are what makes us different, but also it’s what makes us diverse thinkers and stronger as a nation.”

The observance started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively.

This year’s theme, Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America, pays tribute to the immense economic and political strides Hispanics have made in the United States.

Hispanic Americans have played a pivotal role in our country’s strength and prosperity. Our Nation's story would not be possible without generations of Hispanics who have shaped and strengthened the fabric of our Union.

“Hispanic heritage is American heritage,” said 2nd Lt. Tito Sanchez, the executive officer of Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army South. “Our contributions play an important role in shaping this nation for hundreds of years.”

Hispanic spirit, energy, and leadership are woven into the culture of America. They have centuries-old traditions, rhythms, art, literature, and creativity that reflects the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.

“We inherited a beautiful culture and a set of values from our parents and grandparents,” said Capt. Elizabeth Dupont, the U.S. Army South G3/5 future operations planner. “It is important to share our heritage to let everyone know who we are and what identifies us as Hispanics.”

Hispanic Americans contribute to the success of the Army in extraordinary ways. They are the brave men and women defending our most cherished ideals at home and abroad. They are the commanders and command sergeants major who lead our Soldiers, the health care professionals who care for our Soldiers, the maintainers who ensure the proper function of mission critical equipment, the researchers and scientists who are revolutionize our ways of life, the aviators who patrol the skies over modern battlefields, and the advocates leading the way for social change in our ranks.

“I use the lessons my father taught me every day as a Soldier,” said Armando Estrada, an utilities equipment repair assigned to Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army South. “If someone needs help or something needs to be done, I selflessly step in and help where I can.”

Hispanic heritage holds an indelible place in the heart and soul of our Army. They reflect an enduring truth at the heart of our Nation: no matter where you come from or where your roots are, with hard work and perseverance you can make it in America.

This month is an incredible opportunity to speak with one voice, acknowledge the crucial role that Hispanics play in shaping our country, and highlight U.S. Army South Soldiers who represent the distinct and vibrant cultures of the Hispanic community.