CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marine Corps Installations West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton hosted a Multi-Cultural Celebration on May 25th, 2017 to recognize the diversity, ethnicity and culture represented on the installation.
Marines and civilians alike browsed booths of informative displays, homemade foods and crafts. Many stopped to engage booth representatives like Clara Foussat Guy, Oceanside resident and former Camp Pendleton employee.
At age 96, Clara is the Tribal Elder of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. She and her family have deep ties to the land that Pendleton Marines now call home. They attend the Multi-Cultural Celebration to ensure their Luiseno traditions and culture is remembered.
“I have been here every year,” she said, looking over her table of photographs, artifacts and informational materials. “Of course, recognizing culture has beneﬁts...I enjoy talking and sharing with the Marines.”
While culture may have taken center stage, it was not the only facet of diversity depicted. Displays ranged from LGBT Pride Month to African American/ Black History. Lance Corporal Jacob Hovis, an adjunct awards clerk from MCI-W, MCB Camp Pendleton, was there to promote voter registration, but identified with the “Religious Diversity in the Military” table.
“I am Southern Baptist…so the religion booth is big for me. I like seeing their booth, because you don’t see a lot of it out here.”
Master Gunnery Sergeant Mark E. Rivers, the equal opportunity advisor for MCI-W recognized the role that culture plays in fostering unity and cohesion in the workplace.
“In order for leaders to lead their Marines, they have to take into account where they come from, how they were raised, how they were socialized. Without that, they may not necessarily know the individual Marines. Understanding the different cultures that each, and every one of us, has been brought up with is very important.”
“The only way we can do it is to keep on doing what we’re doing…making folks apart of this base aware,” said Rivers of need to learn about other cultures. “We had a great turnout, and that says a lot about how folks want to learn.”