Hispanics in the United States Naval Academy

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Hispanics in the United States Naval Academy

Frederic Louis Riefkohl.JPGPedro del Valle.jpgCabanillas.jpg
Horacio Rivero Jr.jpgNavyacademylogo.jpgBaldomero Lopez - portrait.jpg
De Arellano with awards cropped.jpgJoseph V Medina.jpgZamka G NASA.jpg
First row:
Frederick Lois Riefkohl • Pedro Augusto del Valle • Jose M. Cabanillas
Second row:
Horacio Rivero, Jr. • Baldomero Lopez
Third row:
Marion Frederic Ramírez de Arellano • Joseph V. Medina • George D. Zamka

Hispanics in the United States Naval Academy account for the largest minority group in the institution. According to the Academy, the Class of 2009 includes 271 (22.2%) minority midshipmen. Out of these 271 midshipmen, 115 are of Hispanic heritage.[1] In 2004, of the total of 736 female midshipmen, 74 (10%) of them were of Hispanic descent.[2]

The United States Navy has implemented a recruitment program directed towards this group, El Navy, whose principal aim is to attract those who speak Spanish.[3]

First Hispanic-American alumni of the Academy[edit]

The United States Naval Academy (USNA), founded 1845, is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps.[4]

The first Hispanic-American to graduate from the academy was Commodore Robert F. Lopez, Class of 1879.[5] The first Hispanic to graduate from the academy and to reach the rank of admiral was a Puerto Rican, Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl, Class of 1911.

In 1980, the USNA included Hispanic/Latino as a racial category for demographic purposes. Four women identified themselves as Hispanics in the Class of 1981, and they became the first Hispanic females to graduate from the academy. The four women were Carmel Gilliland, who had the highest class rank; Lilia Ramirez, who retired with the rank of Commander; Ina Marie Gomez; and Trinora Pinto.[6]

Notable Hispanic USNA graduates[edit]

Amongst the Academy's Hispanic alumni who have distinguished themselves as career officers in the Navy, the Marine Corps or the United States Air Force are the following:

19th century, notable Hispanic USNA graduates[edit]

  • Commodore Robert F. Lopez, USN - USNA Class of 1879. Born in Davenport, Iowa. Appointed from Tennessee, 9th Congressional District, Lopez was admitted to the USNA on September 29, 1874.[5] Captain Lopez retired from the Navy in 1911 as a Commodore.[7] During World War I, he was recalled to active duty. Lopez served as Commandant of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard north of San Francisco.[7]

1900-1959, notable Hispanic USNA graduates[edit]

  • Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl, USN – USNA Class of 1911. Born and raised in Maunabo, Puerto Rico, he was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the Naval Academy. He was a World War I Navy Cross recipient who served as captain of the USS Vincennes during World War II.[8]
  • Lieutenant General Pedro Augusto del Valle, USMC - USNA Class of 1915. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico (28 August 1893 - 28 April 1978) and appointed to the USNA on 17 June 1911 by Governor George R. Colton. He was a United States Marine Corps officer who became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of lieutenant general. His military career included service in World War I, Haiti and Nicaragua during the so-called Banana Wars of the 1920s; in the seizure of Guadalcanal; and later as commanding general of the U.S. 1st Marine Division during World War II.[9]
  • Rear Admiral Jose M. Cabanillas, USN - USNA Class of 1924. Born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, was an Executive Officer of the USS Texas which participated in the invasions of North Africa and Normandy (D-Day) during World War II. In 1945, he became the first Commanding officer of the USS Grundy.
  • Rear Admiral Edmund Ernest García, USN - USNA Class of 1927. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, his father Enrique Garcia was a captain in the U.S. Army. He was originally a member of the Class of 1926 but requested to be turned back to the class of 1927 for academic deficiency in mathematics. During World War II was commander of the destroyer escort USS Sloat and saw action in the invasions of Africa, Sicily, and France.
  • Colonel Jaime Sabater, Sr., USMC - USNA Class of 1927. Sabater was born on May 28, 1904 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was appointed to USNA on July 8, 1923 by Félix Córdova Dávila, the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico in Washington D.C.. During World War II, commanded the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines during the Bougainville amphibious operations. Commanding officer of the 3rd Marines, Fleet Marine Force, Western Pacific (formerly the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines) from 1 October 1947 to 1 April 1948 in Tsingtao, China.[10]
  • Rear Admiral Henry G. Sanchez, USN – USNA Class of 1930. Born on 29 December 1907. During World War II, then-LCDR Sanchez commanded VF-72, a F4F squadron of 37 aircraft, on board the USS Hornet from July to October 1942. His squadron was responsible for shooting down 38 Japanese airplanes during his command tour which included the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.[11]
  • Admiral Horacio Rivero, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1931. Was the first four-star admiral from Puerto Rico and the second Hispanic-American full admiral, after Admiral David Farragut, in the Navy. Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and graduated third in his USNA class. During World War II, he served aboard the USS San Juan and was involved in providing artillery cover for Marines landing on Guadalcanal, Marshall Islands, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. In October 1962, Admiral Rivero found himself in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis. As Commander of amphibious forces, Atlantic Fleet, he was on the front line of the vessels sent to the Caribbean by President Kennedy to stop the Cold War from escalating into World War III.[12]
  • Captain Marion Frederic Ramírez de Arellano, USN - USNA Class of 1936. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico was the first Hispanic submarine commanding officer.[13] He was awarded two Silver Star Medals, the Legion of Merit, and a Bronze Star Medal for his actions against the Japanese Imperial Navy. Not only is he credited with the sinking of at least two Japanese ships, but he also led the rescue of the lives of numerous downed Navy pilots.[14]
  • Rear Admiral Rafael Celestino Benítez, USN - USNA Class of 1939. Born in Juncos, Puerto Rico, was a lieutenant commander and saw action aboard submarines and on various occasions weathered depth charge attacks. For his actions, he was awarded the Silver and Bronze Stars. Benitez would later play an important role in the first American undersea spy mission of the Cold War as commander of the submarine USS Cochino in what became known as the "Cochino Incident".[15]
  • 1st Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, USMC - USNA Class of 1947. Posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for smothering a hand grenade with his own body during the Inchon landing on 15 September 1950 during the Korean War. His father, also named Baldomero, came to Tampa, Florida as a young man from the Asturias region of Spain. Born on 23 August 1925 in Tampa, Florida he enlisted in the Navy on 8 July 1943 and served until 11 June 1944 when he was given a Fleet appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. There is a maritime vessel named after him, USNS 1St Lt Baldomero Lopez, plus a room in Bancroft Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy bears his name.[16]
  • General Julio Torres, USAF - USNA Class of 1957. Torres was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He completed his premedical studies at the University of Puerto Rico before attending the Naval Academy. He continued his academic education and earned a Masters and professional engineers degrees in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He later earned a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics at the same institution. In 1983, Torres graduated from the United States Naval War College and in 1984 he completed his studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.[17]
  • Major Pedro Vazquez, USMC - USNA Class of 1957. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Completed a degree in law from the University of Puerto Rico. Was Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce and later on became Secretary of State of Puerto Rico and Chief of Staff to then Governor Carlos Romero Barceló.
  • Rear Admiral Benjamin F. Montoya, USN – USNA Class of 1958. He was born in Indio, California and graduated from Coachella Valley High School in 1953. He retired from the Navy in 1989 as the Chief of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps and Commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.[18]
  • Vice Admiral Jesse J. Hernandez, USN – USNA Class of 1958. Hernandez was the Commander, US Naval Forces Japan from 1990 to 1993.[19]

1960-present, notable Hispanic USNA graduates[edit]

  • Rear Admiral Henry F. Herrera, USN – USNA Class of 1966. Hails from Miami Springs, Florida, he was the commanding officer of two fleet ballistic missile submarines, the President of the Board of Inspection and Survey, the Commander of Submarine Group NINE, and the Director, C41 Systems (J-6), U.S. Strategic Command.[20][21]
  • Rear Admiral Marc Y.E. Pelaez, USN – USNA Class of 1968. He was commanding officer of nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Sunfish, director of submarine technology at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Chief of the Office of Naval Research.[22]
  • Rear Admiral George "Rico" Mayer, USN – USNA Class of 1975. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, became a naval aviator and assumed his current assignment as Commander, Naval Safety Center, in August 2005. Mayer earned a master's degree from the U.S. Naval War College.[23][24]
  • Brigadier General Joseph V. Medina, USMC – USNA Class of 1976. On November 2003, Medina took command of Expeditionary Strike Group Three. This event marked the first time in history that a United States Marine Corps officer took command of a Naval flotilla. His has a Bachelor of Science (Physics) and a Master of Science (Systems Management) degree from the University of Southern California.[25]
  • Rear Admiral Jay A. DeLoach, USN - USNA Class of 1978. Born in San Diego, California, His academic background include a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering and two master's degree; Master of Arts in Management & Supervision and Masters of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering. DeLoach is the Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements and Assessments. DeLoach played an instrumental role in implementing a visionary "Memorandum of Understanding" between the Submarine Force Active component and the Reserve component. He helped pioneer many key initiatives that have since been adopted Navy-wide.[26]
  • Captain Miguel López Alegría - Astronaut, USN - USNA Class of 1980. Born 30 May 1958, in Madrid, Spain and raised in Mission Viejo, California. His academic background include a bachelor of science degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1980; and a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1988. Graduate of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security. Speaks Spanish, French and Russian. López Alegría served as pilot and mission commander of EP-3E aircraft. he was assigned to NASA as an engineering test pilot and program manager at the Naval Air Test Center. López Alegría reported for training to the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in August 1992. After one year of training he was designated as an astronaut. Between 20 October 1995 and 21 April 2007, López Alegría participated in four spaceflights, logged over 257 days in space, and performed 10 spacewalks accumulating a total of 67 hours and 40 minutes of Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA).[27]
  • Rear Admiral Patrick H. Brady, USN – USNA Class of 1981. Born in Camp Springs, Maryland is the Deputy Director, Submarine Warfare Division (N87B). Brady, who is of Irish and Hispanic descent, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering. Brady's academic accomplishments also include a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School. He attended the Air Force Command and Staff College, and completed Navy Nuclear Power training and Level Three acquisition training. Prior to his current position, Brady was the Commander of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.[28]
  • Commander Lilia L. Ramirez (ret.), USN – USNA Class of 1981. Born in Colombia and raised in Glen Cove, New York, she was one of the first four Hispanic female graduates of the academy. She is currently the Director of the International Programs Office, for the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate.[29]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Christopher J. "Gus" Loria - Astronaut, USMC - USNA Class of 1983. Born 9 July 1960 in Belmont, Massachusetts. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy (1983). He has a Master in Public Administration from John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2004); and 30 credits from Florida Institute of Technology towards completion of a Master of Science Degree in aeronautical engineering. Loria flew 42 combat missions in support of allied operations during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Selected by NASA in April 1996, Loria completed two years of training and evaluation, and qualified for flight assignment as a pilot. From September 2002 through July 2003 he served as the Chief of Flight Test for the Orbital Space Plane Program.[30]
  • Colonel George David Zamka - Astronaut, USMC - USNA Class of 1984. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1962. He was raised in New York City; Irvington, New York; Medellín, Colombia; and Rochester Hills, Michigan. In June 1998, Zamka was selected for the astronaut program, and reported for training in August. Zamka served as lead for the shuttle training and procedures division and as supervisor for the astronaut candidate class of 2004. Zamka made his first spaceflight as the pilot of STS-120, This was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station to deliver the U.S. Node 2 Module, while also reconfiguring part of the station to prepare it for future assembly missions. The mission was flown in September 2007 by Space Shuttle Atlantis.[31]

Gallery of Hispanic USNA Alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "United States Naval Academy - Introduction" (PDF). United States Naval Academy Catalog 2005-2006. Retrieved 2007-04-30. External link in |work= (help)
  2. ^ Young, Julia (July 2004). "Not Your Average Undergrad". LATINA Style. 10 (5). Archived from the original on 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
  3. ^ "El Navy". Archived from the original on 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  4. ^ "United States Naval Academy". Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  5. ^ a b United States Naval Academy records on Robert F. Lopez.
  6. ^ Capt. Gottschalk, USNA Institutional Research office. Retrieved May 31, 2007
  7. ^ a b [see above]
  8. ^ David H. Lippman. "August 5, 1942 - August 8, 1942". World War II Plus 55. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  9. ^ "Lieutenant General Pedro A. Del Valle, USMC". History Division. United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on October 23, 2006. Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  10. ^ "Hyperwar USMC". Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  11. ^ Richard Worth; David Williams; Richard Leonard; Mark Horan. "Order of Battle: Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 October 1942". World War II - Battles of the Pacific. NavWeaps. Retrieved 2007-04-15.
  12. ^ *Robert F. Dorr (January 26, 2004). "Damn the Torpedoes! Former VCNO excelled in combat, technical roles". Navy Times. Archived from the original on 2004-01-21. Retrieved 2006-10-21.
  13. ^ "The Submarine Forces Diversity Trailblazer - Capt. Marion Frederick Ramirez de Arellano"; Summer 2007 Undersea Warfare magazine; pg.31
  14. ^ "CAPT Marion Frederic Ramírez de Arellano". USNA graduates of Hispanic descent for the Class of 1911, 1915, 1924, 1927, 1931, 1935, 1939, 1943, 1947. Association of Naval Services Officers. February 27, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  15. ^ *Sontag, Sherry; and Christopher Drew; with Annette Lawrence Drew (1998). Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage. Public Affairs. ISBN 0-06-097771-X. OCLC 45342848.
  16. ^ "First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, USMC". Who's who in Marine Corps History. Archived from the original on 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
  17. ^ Hispanics in America's Defense By DIANE Publishing, Retrieved March 4, 2007
  18. ^ "Rear Admiral Benjamin F. Montoya, USN, Ret. - CEO, SmartSystems Technologies". NASA Advisory Council. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Archived from the original on 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  19. ^ "Japan, Commander US Naval Forces - Lists of Commanding Officers and Senior Officials of the US Navy". Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy. Archived from the original on 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2007-04-15.
  20. ^ "History of the Board of Inspection and Survey". Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, United States Navy. Archived from the original on 2005-12-16. Retrieved 2007-04-17.
  21. ^ United States Navy press release (September 1993). "Navy Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Contributions". FindArticles.com. Retrieved 2007-04-17.[dead link]
  22. ^ "USNA graduates of Hispanic descent, Class of 1960 - present (Flag Rank)". Association of Naval Service Officers. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-15.
  23. ^ "Rear Admiral George E. Mayer, Commander, Naval Safety Center". U.S. Navy Biographies. United States Navy. Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  24. ^ Rudi Williams (October 8, 2005). "Admiral Earns Executive Excellence Award from Hispanic Engineers". DefenseLINK News. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-04-17.
  25. ^ "Official Biography for Joseph V. Medina". United States Marine Corps. May 31, 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  26. ^ "Rear Admiral Jay A. DeLoach". U.S. Navy Biographies. United States Navy. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  27. ^ "NASA Biographical Data-Lopez-Alegria". Astronaut Biographies. NASA. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  28. ^ Rear Admiral Patrick H. Brady Commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center
  29. ^ Ramirez, Anna Tulia. "Working Woman: Commander Lilia L. Ramirez, U.S. Navy (Retired), Natural Born Leader & Pioneer". Para MI. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  30. ^ "NASA Biographical Data-Christopher J. "Gus" Loria". Astronaut Biographies. NASA. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  31. ^ "Eight Hispanic American Space Explorers". NASA Facts. Retrieved 2007-05-07.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]