DAHLGREN, Va. - Naval Support Facility Dahlgren will join the Navy and the nation in celebrating the contributions of Hispanic Americans during Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15-Oct. 15.
This year, the theme "Shaping the Bright Future of America", draws attention to the vitality and lasting legacy Hispanic Americans have had on the culture of our nation.
Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on America through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national
character with centuries-old traditions that reflect their many multiethnic and multicultural customs.
Over the years, Hispanic military personal, government employees, and civilian contractors have profoundly impacted NSF Dahlgren and its tenant commands.
Jose Lugo - a Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) engineer - is one of a multitude of Hispanics who positively serve and influence the NSWCDD mission and our community.
Lugo earned his bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, followed by two master of science degrees - one in hazardous waste and materials management and another in systems engineering from Southern Methodist University, Texas.
During his 30 year career, Lugo served in numerous leadership positions including electronics development group leader, quality team lead, site safety manager, program manager, support staff member to the Warfare Center business executive, Lean Six Sigma black-belt, Operations Department chief engineer, acting safety and environmental branch head, and currently the NSWC Dahlgren Combat Systems Enterprise Test & Evaluation Division's special projects officer. He has received multiple awards including the Chief of Naval Operations Shore Safety Award for Individual Achievement in Support of Naval Safety, the Warfare Center Collaboration Award, the NSWCDD Paul J. Martini Award for Excellence in a Support Function, and the Distinguished Community Service Award for Hispanic Prison Ministry, among others.
Lugo believes that a work-family-community balance is the reason for his success. Confidence, courage, and competence have helped him at the office leading process improvements in support of NSWCDD's mission, at home raising his children, and in the community as a volunteer Boy Scout leader, baseball coach and Hispanic leader.
Jose was one of the founding leaders of NSWCDD's Hispanic Association and continues to be a resource for those seeking a mentor or simply a word of advice. In his own words: "Be open to the possibilities, seek support, be a life-long learner, unleash your potential, be a change master, build coalitions, and don't be afraid of taking risks to achieve your goals. Take time to re-charge yourself, celebrate your achievements, and never forget to give back to those that make them possible, your family, your co-workers, your friends, and your community."
The national Hispanic Heritage observation began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, it was expanded by President Ronald Reagan to cover a 30-day period, paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. The unique dates of this heritage month were chosen to encompass the Independence Day anniversaries for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile.
The term "Hispanic" or "Latino" refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic,
and Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin."
According to latest Census, 55 million people or 17% of the population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population
at 35.3 million or 13% of the total US population.
There are more than 57,000 Hispanic Sailors currently serving in the Navy and more than 16,000 Hispanic civilian employees working for the Department of the Navy. Among the 15 percent of
Hispanic Sailors in the Navy - approximately 2.5 percent are serving as flag officers while 11 percent represent the E8-E9 leadership. Representation is present in every rank and in a wide variety of career fields to include fighter pilots, physicians, nuclear engineers, policy makers, boatswains and corpsmen.