by Jay Townsend
Hispanic-American Soldiers have served in the U.S. Army for more than 236 years in support of the nation.
The representation of Hispanic-Americans on active duty has increased by 10 percent during the past 30 years. In 1985, it was three percent, and in 2016 it is 13.7 percent.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a major Army command comprised mostly of civilians.
Typically in a USACE Command there are a few Army “green-suiters” that make up the command team, aside from that the number of Soldiers begin to dwindle.
SWD has two additional Soldiers that serve alongside the division’s 85 civilians. Both of those Soldiers happen to be Hispanic Americans.
Lt. Col. Rene Rodriguez, operations officer, is an Army Reserve Soldier and 1st Lt. David Sanchez, military personnel officer is a Texas National Guard Soldier.
Both are serving on orders in the Southwestern Division.
Rodriguez, from Farmersville, Texas joined the military 17 years ago.
While reflecting on his career Rodriguez said “the Army has provided me with advanced training and a wide array of leadership opportunities that will give me an edge when my military career is over.”
Sanchez, a Los Angeles, California native said he joined because he wanted to serve for those who couldn’t.
“It’s a privilege and honor to serve our country. I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience the pride and comradery that comes with putting on the uniform,” said Sanchez.
Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Rodriguez and Sanchez said they were proud of their heritage and the role Hispanic-Americans have played in the Army and Corps’ history.