<p style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;"><span lang="EN" style="mso-bidi-font-family: arial; mso-ansi-language: en;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">Picatinny Arsenal employees observed Black History Month with a discussion panel made up of senior African American leaders. The celebration, hosted by Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PMSW), was held on Feb. 21 at the Lindner Conference Center. </font></span>

<p style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;"><font face="Calibri"><font size="3"><font color="#000000"><span lang="EN" style="mso-bidi-font-family: arial; mso-ansi-language: en;">The panel included Steffanie B. Easter, Vice Director, Navy Staff; Brig. Gen. Alfred F. Abramson III, Commanding General Picatinny Arsenal and Program Executive Officer Ammunition; and Col. Elliott Caggins, PMSW. </span></font></font></font>

<p style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;"><span lang="EN" style="mso-ansi-language: en;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">This year’s theme, “African Americans in Times of War,” was presented in a detailed timeline by Lt. Col. Jeffrey Ivey, Picatinny Arsenal Garrison Commander.</font></span>

<p style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;"><span lang="EN" style="mso-ansi-language: en;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">The three leaders discussed their upbringings, their choice of professions and the challenges they encountered during their careers. Along with installation employees, a group of students from Lincoln High School in Yonkers, New York, attended the observance and could ask questions of the panelists.</font></span>

<p style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;"><span lang="EN" style="mso-bidi-font-family: arial; mso-ansi-language: en;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">Black History Month began in 1926 and was founded by Carter G. Woodson. Originally the event lasted a week. But in 1976, the 100th anniversary of the United States, the week was extended to one month, allowing for more inclusion of activities and programs.</font></span>

<p style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;"><span lang="EN" style="mso-ansi-language: en;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">Each February, the United States Army honors the contributions of African American men and women in building the nation.</font></span>