Hispanics in the United States Navy can trace their tradition of naval military service to men such as Lieutenant Jorge Farragut Mesquida, who served in the American Revolution. Hispanics, such as Seaman Philip Bazaar and Seaman John Ortega, have distinguished themselves in combat and have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration of the United States. Hispanics have also reached the top ranks of the Navy, serving their country in sensitive leadership positions on domestic and foreign shores. Among those who have reached the highest ranks in the Navy are Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy, of Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewish descent, who participated in the War of 1812 as an assistant Sailing master; Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, for whom the rank of Admiral in the U.S. Navy was created during the American Civil War; and Admiral Horacio Rivero, who led the Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Hispanic is an ethnic term employed to categorize any citizen or resident of the United States, of any racial background, of any country, and of any religion, who has at least one ancestor from the people of Spain or is of non-Hispanic origin, but has an ancestor from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central or South America, or some other Hispanic origin. The three largest Hispanic groups in the United States are the Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau the estimated Hispanic population of the United States is over 50 million, or 16% of the U.S. population, and Hispanics are the nation's largest ethnic or racial minority. The 2010 U.S. Census estimate of over 50 million Hispanics in the U.S. does not include the 3.9 million residents of Puerto Rico.
More than 43,000 people of Hispanic origin are sailors and civilians serving with the U.S. Navy.
The United States Navy has implemented aggressive recruitment programs directed towards this group. One of those programs is El Navy, whose principal aim is to attract those who speak Spanish. It has resulted in increased recruitment of Hispanics for entrance to the United States Naval Academy. As of April 2007, thirteen Hispanic Americans who were graduates of the USNA, and nine who were commissioned after attending the Navy's officer candidate school, have reached the rank of Rear Admiral and above.
Read more about Hispanics In The United States Navy: American Revolution and The War of 1812, World War I, World War II, Cold War Era, Latter Part of The 20th Century, Hispanics in Sensitive Domestic Leadership Positions, Increase in Hispanic Enlistment
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