Special Operations Center of Excellence
Equal Opportunity Program
Hispanic Heritage Month 2016 -Embracing, Enriching, and Enabling America
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from 15 Sept. - 15 Oct. by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 31-day period. It was enacted into law on August 17th, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
September 15th is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16th and September 18th, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12th.
The term Hispanic or Latino, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.”
In 2014, there were 55 million U.S. Hispanics, accounting for 17 percent of the American population.
The Hispanic population of the United States is projected to grow to 119 million in 2060. According to this projection, the Hispanic population will constitute 31 percent of the nation’s population by that date.
Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.
For more information visit: National Hispanic Heritage Month
Army Equal Opportunity (EO) and Discrimination Policy
SOCoE Equal Opportunity (EO) Mission
Support the commander's continuous efforts to maximize human potential and ensure fair treatment of all Special Operations Soldiers, their families and DA civilian employee's based solely on merit, fitness, capability, potential, and an environment free of sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination.
SOCoE Equal Opportunity (EO) Purpose
Equal Opportunity (EO) formulates, directs and sustains a comprehensive effort to maximize human potential and to ensure fair treatment for ALL persons based solely on merit, fitness and capability in support of readiness.
SOCoE Equal Opportunity (EO) Goals
Provide Equal Opportunity (EO) for military personnel, and family members both on and off post within the limits of the laws of localities, states and host nations.
Create and sustain effective units by eliminating discriminatory behaviors or practices that undermine teamwork, mutual respect, and loyalty
Equal Opportunity (EO) Polices
Equal Opportunity (EO) Complaints Procedures
Equal Opportunity Directives
Ethnic/Special Observance Themes Click to Download 2016 Schedule
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Day – 3rd Monday of January. “A day ON, not a day OFF!!” Twenty years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed to the world his dream for equality, Public Law 98-144 was enacted, designating the third Monday in January as a federal holiday commemorating Dr. King’s birthday, his life and contributions.
George Washington is the only other American whose birthday has been designated as a federal holiday.
For more information visit: Corporation for National and Community Service
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH – February. The Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s were great breakthroughs. Not only did they afford African-Americans legal rights that every American should have, they provided for enforcement of the anti-discrimination laws of the federal government. By the early 1970s, the military had instituted directives, policies, and training on race relations and equal opportunity.
For more information visit: African American History Month
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH – March. American women of every race, class and ethnic background have made historic contributions to the growth and strength of our nation in countless recorded and unrecorded ways. They have played and continue to play a critical economic, cultural, and social role in every sphere of life by constituting a significant portion of the labor force, working inside and outside of the home, and by providing the majority of the volunteer labor force.
For more information visit: Women's History Month
HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council was established in 1980 by public Law 96-388. The council coordinates an annual, national civic commemoration of the Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust, held in the nation's capital. Ceremonies are conducted throughout the U.S. during the annual Days of Remembrance, proclaimed by the US Holocaust Memorial Council (USHMC) for a designated one-week period (Sunday to Sunday) each spring between mid-April and mid-May. The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. When the actual date of Yom Hashoah falls on a Friday, the state of Israel observes Yom Hashoah on the preceding Thursday. When it falls on a Sunday, Yom Hashoah is observed on the following Monday.
For more information visit: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month – May.Asian-Pacific Americans have been in the U.S. for more than 150 years. However, little is known about their history. To better understand the variety of backgrounds, traditions, and paradigms of these vital members of our society is to better understand what makes America itself great as a nation of immigrants. "Asian-Pacific-American" affixes a common label to a vast array of ethnic groups. The common American perception tends to lump all Asians together into one racial group, without distinct ethnic and cultural differences. The term actually identifies individuals from at least 29 different countries, each with a unique historical and cultural heritage of its own. There are many differences in language, food, and religions among Asian-Pacific-Americans as among the Greeks, Irish, Italians or Germans.
For more information visit: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
LGBT PRIDE MONTH – June. The Defense Department joins the nation in celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender -- LGBT -- Pride Month. We recognize gay, lesbian and bisexual Service members and LGBT civilians for their dedicated service to our country. The contributions made by these Americans strengthen our national security. Whether officer, enlisted, civilian employee, or family member, their inclusion gives our department greater promise and possibility. The LGBT community has written a proud chapter in this fundamentally American story by reminding us that integrity and respect remain cornerstones of our military and civilian culture.
For more information visit: LGBT Pride Month
WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAY – August 26. On Aug 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was certified as part of the U.S. Constitution. Referred to as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, it states, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or bay any State on account of sex." The U.S. Congress designated August 26 as "Women's Equality Day" in 1971 to honor women's continuing efforts toward equality.
For more information visit: Women's Equality Day
NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH - 15 September-15 October. Every year since 1968, by presidential proclamation, a week has been set aside to honor the contributions of Hispanic-Americans. Recognizing that a week was not long enough to recognize the Hispanic population's significant achievements and contributions, Congress voted in 1989 to expand this week to a month-long celebration, known as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
For more information visit: National Hispanic Heritage Month
NATIONAL DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH – October. National Disability Employment Awareness Month was declared in 1988 by the United States Congress for October to raise awareness of the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. The month is an extension of "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week" originally observed during the first week of October beginning in 1962.
For more information visit: National Disability Employment Awareness Month
NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH - November. The term "Native American" is used to describe 504 recognized tribes, including 197 Alaskan Native groups such as the Eskimos and the Aleuts. About 100 of these tribes have become extinct since the arrival of Europeans on American soil. There are roughly 300 Indian reservations in the U.S., the largest of which is the Navajo Reservation, which extends throughout 16 million acres in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The Native American people are the only political group specifically identified in the U.S. Constitution.
For more information visit: Native American Heritage Month