Marines join in La Raza celebration
By Sgt. Jimmie Perkins
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | February 24, 2004
The Marine Corps Recruiting Command joined the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in honoring members of Congress at the 2004 Capitol Awards at the National Building Museum here. This year the NCLR honored Senator Blanche L. Lincoln (D-Ark.), Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), and Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.) for their contributions to Latino causes.
The Marines attended the event in order to enhance the positive image of the Marine Corps by further developing the Marine Corps' relationship with the NCLR. Representing the Marine Corps were the highest ranking male and female Hispanic Marines, Major General Christopher Cortez, Commanding General, Marines Corps Recruiting Command, and Colonel Angela Salinas, Commanding Officer, 12th Marine Corps District.
"We are actively engaged with the National Council of La Raza," said Maj. Gen. Cortez. "As the preeminent Hispanic advocacy organization, NCLR provides the Marine Corps with a venue to engage, not only prospective applicants for the Corps, but key influencers and family members."
According to the NCLR press release, the Capitol Awards was established 17 years ago by the NCLR in an effort to recognize members of Congress and public officials who support public policies that are important to Latinos and, in turn, vital to our nation.
The Marines Corps also provided a color guard for the ceremony and "The Presidents' Own" U.S. Marine Band treated the more than 800 guests in attendance to a short performance.
"The Marine Corps partners with the NCLR in order to ensure that our message of opportunity is heard by the widest audience. We embrace diversity because we recognize that each individual brings talents and skills that will make the Marine Corps a better institution," said Capt. Marc Cole, diversity marketing officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. Currently there are approximately 24,000 Hispanics serving in the Marine Corps.