Marine Corps celebrates diversity in ranks
By Cpl. T. J. Kaemmerer
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | April 11, 2006
WASHINGTON, D.C. --
More than a dozen Marines, including two of the Corps’ senior-ranking African Americans, attended a reception for the release of the 2006 TIYM African American Yearbook at the Library of Congress April 6.
This is the Corps’ sixth year advertising in the publication, which provides a wide range of resource and referral information about the African American community.
Also in attendance were representatives from various government agencies, private sector businesses and members of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard and members of Congress.
Major General Walter E. Gaskin, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, and Maj. Gen. Cornell Wilson, director of Reserve Affairs Division , Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, were the senior Marines in attendance. Gaskin, the keynote speaker of the evening, told an enthralled audience about the contributions of the first African American Marines, known as the Montford Point Marines. Because of them, the Marine Corps today benefits greatly from its ethnic diversity. Gaskin is the first African American to head the Corps’ recruiting efforts.
“The Marine Corps came to be where it is today because of the dedication and contributions of those first African American Marines,” said Gaskin. “The Marine Corps is a team, and our strength stems from the diversity of each of our individual Marines.”
Government and community leaders understand the value of these yearbooks to their organizations efforts in promoting diversity.
Congressman Charles B. Rangel, D, NY, was slated to speak at the event but couldn’t attend due to prior commitments. Representing Rangel was Cedric Grant, who voiced the congressman’s remarks.
“Diversity is what makes America the great nation it is today,” Grant said, on Rangel’s behalf. “It is our bedrock and our strength”
The 2006 TIYM African American Yearbook highlights those experiences, traditions and accomplishments of African Americans in many walks of life, to include the military. This year, the Marine Corps is featured in a five-page full-color advertorial that highlights educational and leadership opportunities in the Corps, as well as the accomplishments of several African American Marines.
According to Angela Zavala, editor, TIYM Publishing Company, Inc., her company has really grown with the Marines.
“Our Success wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Marine Corps,” Zavala said.
With a distribution network of 50,000 outlets to include the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Department of Defense, U.S. embassies and consulates, schools, the American Council on Education, and the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, the Marine Corps is able to spread its message of opportunity.
For more information or to obtain a copy of this year’s African American Yearbook, visit www.tiym.com.