Fort Belvoir, Va. –
As the Defense Logistics Agency’s additive manufacturing subject matter expert, Tony Delgado directs the acceleration and adoption of additive manufacturing design and production technologies. Under his leadership, the enterprise is becoming increasingly aware of its many capabilities.
For six years, he has served as DLA Research and Development’s Additive Manufacturing program manager. AM, or 3D printing, is the computer-controlled construction of a digital 3D model with material added in layers. R&D’s AM program leverages advanced technologies to shape acquisition, planning, and supply chain security across DLA’s network.
Despite AM becoming mainstream over the last decade, Delgado said that DLA uses the technology differently.
“Anyone can buy an AM machine for their home, but the AM that DLA pursues is for military weapons systems,” Delgado said. “The data used to print parts has to come from a valid engineering requirement and supported by AM suppliers qualified by the military services.”
Before Delgado became the innovative leader that he is today, he was a young boy growing up in Chicago during the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement. As a fourth grader in 1968, his parents relocated the family to their home island of Puerto Rico following the devastating riots triggered by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. “It was a pivotal time for the nation and our family,” he said. “I had to learn Spanish and embrace Caribbean life.”
He adjusted well to life in Yauco, Puerto Rico, ultimately earning his bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the University of Puerto Rico where he joined ROTC, and then the U.S. Army. He also holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College and a master’s in human resources development from Webster University.
Following 30 years of honorable service, Delgado retired as an Army colonel. He served as the operation officer for the Victory Base Complex Garrison Support in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. An assignment followed to the Pentagon as the deputy chief for logistics, He was entrusted with the position of Army G-4 Division Chief for Strategy Synchronization to integrate logistics initiatives for strategic decision-making across the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Army Major Commands, and staff.
As a Puerto Rican, he said he is proud to serve his country and of his heritage. For Delgado, National Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to highlight the contributions of Latinos that otherwise would not be recognized.
“Latinos are very diverse. The Latino culture was mainly known as Mexicans for the longest in the United States until the census started recognizing that we are a mix of Indigenous, Central and South American, European and African cultures. That mix is so unique because it has caused a fusion of food, music and culture that is dynamic and colorful,” he shared.
Delgado is honored to pave the way for other members of his community by providing a strong example of work ethic and dedication.
“Each day I am in awe with the mission accomplished by DLA in support of the Warfighter and our other customers. While working with DLA R&D, I have experienced diversity at its best. My work is equally recognized and rewarded. I can only say, gracias!”.