Former General Colin Powell remains one of the most famous children of West Indian immigrants to serve in the US military.
A NAN Special Report
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. Nov. 11, 2015: As the U.S. marks Veterans Day today, News Americas decided to take a look at the number of Caribbean/West Indians who are currently serving in the U.S. military.
As of June 2015, there were 922 according to Department of Defense statistics analyzed by NAN for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
Sailors and Marines stand at parade rest while manning the rails as the amphibious landing dock ship USS New York pulls into port in New York City, Nov. 8, 2015. (DOD image)
The highest number was from Cuba. Cubans in the US military accounted for 679 of the total foreign born military personnel this year.
Puerto Rico followed with 152 while the Bahamas was third with 50 of the total foreign born military personnel as of June this year.
Other Caribbean nations accounted for far less. Thirteen were from the Dominican Republic while Belize and Haiti had 6 each according to DOD.
Three were from Guyana, Suriname, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago according to the DOD’s June numbers while Jamaica and Antigua & Barbuda accounted for 2 each out of a total 1,300,796 foreign-born service members.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Nov. 10, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue)
The top two countries of origin for foreign-born military personnel in the U.S. are the Philippines and Mexico. Nearly 11 percent of those serving in the armed forces are of Hispanic origin.
Immigrants have served in and fought for the U.S. military since the birth of the nation – from the Revolutionary War to the present. Thousands from the Caribbean and Latin America are veterans.
Famous veterans who are U.S.-born children of West Indian immigrants include Jamaican American Colin Powell, retired four-star general in the U.S. Army and former secretary of state. Combined veterans who are immigrants or children of immigrants account for approximately 12 percent of the total veteran population.