Throughout the month of February, the Navy joins our nation in celebrating the history and culture of African American and Black Sailors during National African American/Black History Month. Sailors and Navy commands are encouraged to use this month to celebrate and recognize the exceptional and distinctive contributions as well as the unique histories and cultures that our African American/Black shipmates bring to our Navy.
National African American History Month, also known as Black History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans in their struggles for freedom and a time for recognizing the central role they have played in shaping the history of the United States. Beginning in 1915, historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. This organization is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Through this organization, Dr. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in February 1926. In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford expanded the celebration to include the entire month of February. Since then, every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as National African American/Black History Month.
African-American Sailors have made great contributions to shape today's Navy. One of the most famous examples is Master Chief Master Diver Carl Brashear who was the first African-American Navy Diver. He was also the first African American to attain the designator of Navy Master Diver. Today, a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship bears his name, the USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE-7).
“From the African American Pilots, The Tuskegee Airman to the First African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Honorable Colin Powell, the contributions African Americans have made to building the strongest fighting force in the world run very deep.” - Senior Chief CJ Eison
“African American/Black History Month is important to our U.S. Navy and Armed Forces because it is a time to reflect on the significant contributions African Americans have made to protect the freedoms we all hold dear,” said Senior Chief CJ Eison, attached to Military Sealift Command Far East, Singapore. “From the African American Pilots, The Tuskegee Airman to the First African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Honorable Colin Powell, the contributions African Americans have made to building the strongest fighting force in the world run very deep.”
In today’s Navy, 19 percent of the Navy's enlisted force identifies as African American or Black, including 17 percent of all senior and master chiefs, while seven percent of the officer force and four percent of all admirals also identify as African American or Black.
A diverse workforce positions the Navy to operate successfully around the globe by bringing together Sailors and civilians with different ideas, experiences, perspectives, capabilities and skill sets. Integrating those with diverse backgrounds into the force allows the Navy to recruit and retain the nation's top talent from a wider pool of skilled personnel.
“The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Armed Forces are the most diverse fighting force in the world and I believe this diversity is the key to our fighting success,” said Eison. “Knowing that no matter what color, nationality, religion, gender, or sexual orientation you have, you have a voice and you will be heard. That’s what allows the Navy and Armed Forces to accomplish any mission.”
The Port of Sembawang Authority (PSA) wants send a friendly reminder that bicycle safety is a must and that while riding aboard PSA, there are special rules to abide by. In addition, taking shortcuts while working can potentially be unsafe. Making the wrong decision to get the work done in the least amount of time can lead to unintended consequences.
Please see the Safety Flash newsletters below below for more information on Bike Safety and Avoiding Shortcuts.
Waitangi Day is New Zealand's national day celebrated annually every 6th of February with a public holiday.
This year New Zealand celebrated 177 years since a treaty was signed in 1840 between the British crown and many of the chiefs of the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand that sealed British sovereignty of the islands of New Zealand.
It is largely a nation wide family day and some public celebrations in the settlement of Waitangi - where the original treaty was signed in the Bay of Islands in North land Region of New Zealand. Significantly, the New Zealand Navy has supported this ceremony at the treaty grounds since the very early days.
On Feb. 4, 2017, the "kiwi" community of Sembawang hosted the annual Morale, Welfare and Recreation "Waitangi Day" Fun Run gathering over 120 participants finishing at Woodlands house in Kings Ave; the home of the New Zealand Defence Advisor. An additional group of more than 50 non-runners enjoyed some traditional kiwi food (Kai) and prepared for the annual Tug of War Challenge.
Thank you all who turned up and those who could not but still purchased the rather unique commemorative T-shirts. We hope to have a bigger turn out next year! See you then.
Commander Paul Gray
Commanding Officer, New Zealand Defence Support Unit (SEA)
The dynamic duo team antics of Noel Leaman and Daniel Louisell otherwise known as, The Dueling Pianos, shook the Terror Club's upper patio Feb. 9, 2017 as more than 100 patrons and members of the Sembawang Military Community watched and participated in the evening's entertainment. For many, the night's entertainment proved to be a fun-filled show as adults and children volunteered in piano-driven dance activities. Check out the photos below for a glimpse of what happened.