John (Juan) Ortega (born in 1840), was the first Hispanic sailor to be awarded the United States' highest military decoration for valor in combat — the Medal of Honor. He distinguished himself, during the South Atlantic Blockade, by the Union Naval forces, during the American Civil War.
Medal of Honor Citation: Served as seaman on board the U.S.S. Saratoga during actions of that vessel on 2 occasions. Carrying out his duties courageously during these actions, Ortega conducted himself gallantly through both periods. Promoted to acting master's mate.