FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - Sailors assigned to Navy Information Operations Command Maryland (NIOC MD) gathered to observe African American History Month during a ceremony Feb. 28 at Fort George G. Meade’s McGill Training Center.
The ceremony was designed to honor the contributions African Americans have made on our Navy and country.
“Since the time of the American revolution to present day military engagements, African Americans have served throughout the ranks in all of our uniform services,” said Capt. Donald Elam, NIOC MD’s commanding officer. “At NIOC MD African Americans support our Fleet Information Operations Center and are on the forefront of the nations cyber mission force.”
Black History Month was originally established in 1926 as "Negro History Week," by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was also the founder of the Association for the Study of African-Americans Life and History.
“The message during this Black History Month really pertains to leadership, character and the American civil rights movement,” said Vice Adm. (retired) Melvin Williams Jr., the event’s guest speaker. “I truly believe leadership is the key to achieving desired effectiveness.”
“When I think about the civil right movement, I think about leaders such Rosa Parks and of course Dr. Martin Luther King,” Williams added.
He credited President Harry S. Truman’s executive order 9981 and Brown vs. Board of Education as milestones in ending segregation in America.
“We have made a lot of progress, but we are not there yet,” said Williams. “Because of this legacy and increased opportunities we are optimistic for the future.”
NIOC MD's primary mission is to conduct information operations and to provide cryptologic and related capability to the fleet, joint and national commanders as well as administrative and personnel support to Department of the Navy members assigned to the Fort Meade area.
NIOC MD is a subordinate command of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and comprises Task Force 1060 of the U.S. 10th Fleet.