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The Navy conducts activities in observance of eight specified diversity-related groups, events or individuals. Observances and related resources are listed below. DOD themes are promulgated by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI).




Asian/Pacific American Heritage



This observation originally began as Asian/Pacific Heritage “week” May 1-10, 1978, to celebrate the contributions of Americans of Asian or Pacific Islander descent – a group of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian Pacific American history: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States (May 7, 1843) and the significant contributions Chinese workers made in constructing the transcontinental railroad, (completed on May 10, 1869). In 1992, Congress expanded this observance to a month long celebration.




Navy Embraces Inclusion During 2013 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Additional Resources:

Library of Congress Section  

Rhumb Lines 2011 

Asian Pacific American Heritage Association


Women's Equality Day


(26 August) 


On the Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote, was ratified. This was the culmination of a long struggle by women searching for the right to vote. In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated Aug. 26 as Women's Equality Day to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment and to celebrate continuing efforts toward equality. We also celebrate Women's Equality Day to commemorate the tremendous positive change brought on by the Women's Movement. Due to the countless millions of women who planned, organized, lectured, wrote, petitioned, lobbied, paraded and broke new ground in every field imaginable, our world is irrevocably changed.




Additional Resources:


National Women’s History Project


Pentagon Library Site 


Navy Commemorates Women's Equality Day




Hispanic Heritage Month

(15 September - 15 October)


This observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting Sept. 15 and ending Oct. 15. September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.




Navy Joins the Nation in Honoring 2012 Hispanic American Heritage Month


Additional Resources: 


Department of Defense Hispanic Heritage Month Website


Library of Congress Section





National American Indian Heritage Month



This important observance began in the early 1900's, when the Boy Scouts of America set aside a day for the "First Americans." In 1990, President Bush approved a joint resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month, or as it is now often referred to – American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month.



DEOMI 2012 National Native American Heritage Month Poster

DEOMI 2012 Native American Heritage Month Facts of the Day

DEOMI 2012 Native American Heritage Month Observance Power Point

Library of Congress Section


Bureau of Indian Affairs


Native Americans in the U.S. Military 


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

(3rd Monday in January)

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. It is also a day of intercultural cooperation, to commemorate the timeless values he taught us, such as courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility, and service. It is held the third Monday of January, shortly after his birthday, 15 Jan.

NAVADMIN 001/13  

Navy Commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 21

Library of Congress Section  

Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute  


Black History Month


The observation of "Negro History Week" began in 1926, an initiative led by historian Carter G. Woodson, to recognize the contributions of African Americans to our country and to foster a better understanding of the African American experience. He chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln, two people who had a dramatic effect on the lives of African Americans. The observation was expanded to include the whole month in 1976, and has since become commonly referred to as Black History or African American History Month.  

NAVADMIN 009/13  

Navy Celebrates 2013 African American/Black History Month  

2013 African American/Black History Fact Sheet  

Additional Resources:  

Library of Congress Section  

History Channel Video & Minisite  

Smithsonian Resources  


Women's History Month


Women's History Month started as Women's History Week in 1978. In 1987, Congress was petitioned to expand the week to an entire month. Women's History Month is a time to recognize the many contributions women have made to our Navy and Nation. The observance honors the spirit of possibility and hope embodied by generations of women who bring communities together and restore hope in the face of great challenges. Starting with the establishment of the Nurse Corps in 1908, women have been an integral part of hte Navy and have exhibited ever-increasing influence and impact.  

NAVADMIN 039/13  

Navy celebrate's Women's History Month

Additional Resources:  

Women in the Navy - Naval History and Heritage Command  

Library of Congress Section  

History Channel Minisite  

Women in Military Service For America Memorial  

Women Veterans Historical Collection  

National Women's Hall of Fame  

Click Here to Visit the Office of Women's Policy


Days of Remembrance


(April/May timeframe) 


Mindful of the fact that our Nation's military forces first witnessed evidence of the Holocaust as they liberated the camps and cognizant of the fact that those of us in uniform must remember both the dreams we stand for and the nightmares we stand against, the Military Services take time during this period to remember the victims of the Holocaust. Often observances are held on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), which corresponds to 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar.


NAVADMIN 088/13  


2013 Holocaust Days of Remembrance  


DEOMI 2013 Days of Remembrance Poster  


DEOMI 2013 Days of Remembrance Presentation


DEOMI 2013 Days of Remembrance Facts of the Day


DoD 2013 Days of Remembrance Announcement Memorandum  


Additional Resources for planning a 2013 Days of Remembrance observance:


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum  


Resources for planning a 2013 Days of Remembrance event for military audiences  


2013 Days of Remembrance Event Calendar  


For additional information on Diversity Observances, visit:

Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute



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