EO special/ethnic observances are conducted to enhance cross-cultural awareness among all Soldiers, civilian-employees, and their Families. These observances recognize the achievements and contributions made by members of specific racial, ethnic, or gender groups in our society. The observances should also promote understanding, teamwork, harmony, pride, and esprit among all groups, not just within the specific group being honored.
Identified sponsoring unit should:
(1) Develop a plan and conduct observances during the specified timeframe
(2) Encourage all members of the military community to contribute and participate
(3) Select and announce an appropriate theme (DOD recommended themes located here) ensuring the theme is consistent with the spirit of the event and the needs of the local community.
(4) EO Program management or educational and training funds may be spent on activities and publications that are intended to promote cross-cultural harmony and awareness. Examples of permissible expenditures include guest speakers, artistic or cultural activities, food exhibits or samples (not intended as meals or refreshments), commercial entertainment as part of an educational awareness program.
Commanders will ensure that projected events amplify the contributions made to the Army and to society by the featured ethnic, gender, or racial group.
Commanders will encourage maximum use of recreational facilities to include the post library, recreation center, theater, and so forth for use during observation of the special events.
Examples: Special displays in libraries, expositions and displays of arts and crafts, special music or drama programs, programs featuring historical achievements and contributions by various ethnic groups to Government, education, industry, religion, music and theater and speeches from local chain of command and DOD civilians
(5) Activities will be designated and scheduled to allow maximum attendance by all Soldiers and civilians within the command. Commanders will establish a policy that ensures that all personnel desiring to participate in these observances are given a reasonable opportunity to do so.
(6) Funding for installation special/ethnic observances will come from HQ, Installation Management Agency to the garrison commander. For funds request, contact the USARAK Equal Opportunity Office at 907.384.0336.
Listing of Special/Ethnic Observances
Dates: 3d Monday
Observance: Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday
Authority/Comment: Public Law 98-144, Nov. 83 (Federal Holiday)
Observance: African American/Black History Month
Authority/Comment: First Presidential Proclamation, Feb. 76
Observance: Women’s History Month
Authority/Comment: Public Law 100-9, Mar 87
Dates: Sunday to Sunday for Week Incorporating Yom Hashoah
Observance: “Days of Remembrance” for Victims of the Holocaust
Authority/Comment: Public Law 96-388, Oct. 80
Observance: Asian Pacific Heritage Month
Authority/Comment: First Presidential Proclamation, May 91
Observance: Women’s Equality Day
Authority/Comment: First Presidential Proclamation, Aug. 73
Dates: 15 Sep.-15 Oct
Observance: National Hispanic Heritage Month
Authority/Comment: Public Law 100-402, Aug. 88
Observance: National Native American Indian Heritage Month
Authority/Comment: Public Law 102-188, Mar. 92
Observance themes can be located at DEOMI. Recommended themes for Martin Luther King’s Birthday (A Day On, Not A Day Off!!) and Women’s Equality Day (Celebrating Women’s Right to Vote) do not change. All other themes are posted to the website when they become available. While DEOMI published themes are representative of the Department of Defense, this does not preclude an organization from creating their own theme or using previously published themes.