R 271115Z JAN 23
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP//
SUBJ/2023 NATIONAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH//
REF/A/PUBLIC LAW 99-244/11FEB1986//
NARR/REF A IS PUBLIC LAW ON NATIONAL BLACK (AFRO-AMERICAN) HISTORY MONTH//
POC/E. C. HABIB/CAPT/CMC (MPE)/TEL: COM 703-784-9371/DSN 278/EMAIL: EVAN . HABIB @USMC.MIL//
POC/A. QUINONES/SSGT/CMC (MPE)/TEL: COM 703-784-9371/DSN 287/EMAIL: ANTHONY . QUINONES @USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. National Black History Month is celebrated each year in the month of February. The 2023 observance theme is: “Inspiring Change.”
2. In 1926, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson launched the celebration of National Negro History Week. He chose the second week of February due to its proximity to the birthdays of famed orator and abolitionist Fredrick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the 50th year of celebration the observance was expanded to include the whole month of February with the full support of President Gerald Ford. On 11 February 1986, Congress issued a joint resolution authorizing the president to proclaim annually the month of February as National Black History Month, officially codifying the celebration in law. Since 1986, presidents have issued proclamations, executive orders, and other guiding statements on National Black History Month to honor the achievements of Black Americans.
3. This year, we recognize one of our own, Sergeant Major Alford L. McMichael. SgtMaj McMichael was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Enlisted on 27 August 1970 and attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. SgtMaj McMichael successfully served as a drill instructor, series gunnery sergeant, and battalion drill master. In January 1979, upon completion of Marine Security Guard School, he was assigned to the American Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark. On 1 July 1999, SgtMaj McMichael assumed his post as the 14th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, becoming the first African American to hold the post. In June 2003, SgtMaj McMichael assumed a newly created post as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer for Allied Command Operations, becoming the senior enlisted advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and Commander, United States European Command. After his 36 years of service, McMichael sits on the steering committee of the National Symposium for the Need of Young Veterans.
4. The National Museum of the Marine Corps located in Triangle, Virginia will be celebrating Black History Month by hosting a special virtual presentation that explores the growing diversity of the Marine Corps. More information can be found on the National Museum of the Marine Corps at www.usmcmuseum.com/virtual-distance-learning-program-celebration-of-black-history.html
5. As a Service, we must take full advantage of the talents, strengths, skills, and perspectives of every Marine. Our talent management system and our leaders support this imperative of prioritizing diversity of thought, fostering inclusivity, and implementing policies that ensure equity across the force. During this observance month, commanders are encouraged to recognize and celebrate the invaluable service and selfless contributions of Black Americans – military, veteran, and civilian - to our country and Corps. Commanders are further encouraged to conduct observance events within their command programs and across their local communities.
6. Our Marine Corps is committed to living the values we defend and treating everyone with dignity and respect. As such, the Marine Corps takes pride in building strength through diversity and is dedicated to promoting a professional environment free from personal, social, or institutional barriers that prevent Marines from reaching their full potential.
7. Release authorized by Lieutenant General, James F. Glynn, Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.//