African American/Black History Month

Wednesday February 1, 2012

What is it?

February is African American/Black History Month, a time during which we honor the many contributions made to our country by African Americans. This year's commemoration continues the tradition of excellence started by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, by honoring black women in American history and culture who have played a vital role in the history of our nation and our Army since the American Revolution. Their patriotism, loyalty and leadership, coupled with their labor, intellect and artistic expression, have enriched the African American community and the nation at large. In slavery and freedom, their struggles have been at the heart of the human experience, and their fight against racism and sexism serve as a testament to their perseverance to overcome adversity.

What has the Army done?

Army leadership has asked the entire Army family to honor publicly, their contributions by encouraging all leaders from across the Army to plan and execute appropriate commemorative activities to celebrate African American/Black History Month.

What is planned for the future?

We are "Army Strong" because we not only place great value in having different perspectives, approaches, and skills but also because we value having ethnic and cultural diversity. Throughout the year, we will celebrate and commemorate the diversity of our Army and leverage and draw strength from the rich diversity within our military and civilian ranks by recognizing the critical roles we all play in strengthening our nation's presence around the world.

Why is this important to the Army?

We are grateful for the sacrifices and contributions African American Women, Soldiers, civilians and families have played in our success. From Harriet Tubman, a leader and conductor of the Underground Railroad, to Rosa Parks, the mother of the modern Civil Rights Movement, to First Lady Michelle Obama, these prominent women courageously serve as exceptional role models for all to emulate.

The Army has also benefitted from the leadership, intelligence and contributions of African American women as we celebrate the recent promotion of Major General Marcia Anderson, the Army's first African American female two star general and recognize Ms. Tracey Pinson, the Army's highest ranking female African American Senior Executive Service member. These women and so many others are expressions of a vibrant culture in which African American women play a critical role in the strength of this Nation and our Army.


African Americans in the U.S. Army
Related links on African Americans in the U.S. Army microsite
Women in the U.S. Army

Related article: HRC deputy becomes Army's first female African-American major general







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Senior Leaders are Saying

"They are not just steely-eyed killers. Over the past decade they have made a tremendous difference in the lives of people living and working in both theaters. I am incredibly and profoundly proud of all they have accomplished … I would trade all the medals and ribbons on my chest and every bit of rank to get just one of them back."

- Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, 32nd Army vice chief of staff, speaks about the many roles of a Soldier and emotionally remembers the 650 Soldiers he lost under his command in Iraq, at his retirement ceremony on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Jan. 31, 2012.

Army vice chief retires after 40 years of service

What They're Saying

"A lot of people misunderstand the observance of Black History Month and think that it is specifically for the one ethnicity or race … This [observance] is where we celebrate the ethnicity and culture of America and the people that brought that culture to us . [The celebration] is about diversity and learning about the people that you work with, work for, or work for you. This gives people the opportunity to see the different upbringings and styles of life, while giving the opportunity to share culture with others."

- Sgt. 1st Class David Kintz, chief Equal Opportunity adviser, Fort Rucker, Ala., enunciates the purpose of celebrating the Black History Month as to bring awareness to the community about African-American culture

Fort Rucker hosts Black History Month events


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