FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
Editor’s Note: The Defense Logistics Agency recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. In honor of Hispanics’ contributions to the agency’s global mission, DLA is highlighting Hispanic Americans who work daily to provide logistics support to America’s warfighters.
My name is: Jaime Medero-Ponce
I am: A program analyst for the robotics process automation program in DLA Information Operations.
Describe your job in a sentence: I’m responsible for auditing and cybersecurity in the robotics process automation program.
How long have you worked at DLA?
I’ve worked for the federal government 31 years and DLA is my third Defense Department agency; I started working for them in 2011.
What is your favorite thing about working for DLA?
DLA is a dynamic and innovatory agency by nature. These two characteristics have kept me motivated to explore and learn more about the latest technological trends and how new technology can improve DLA’s processes to achieve efficacy to better serve our customers and warfighters. Another favorite aspect of DLA is the professionalism, commitment and camaraderie of its employees in assisting each other and the community during emergencies such as hurricanes, fires and pandemics.
What are your best memories of working here?
I have many great memories, especially during the past decade. Among those that are near and dear to my heart is when Hurricane Maria hit my homeland of Puerto Rico in 2017. DLA responded to the need by becoming a beacon during the recovery process and providing logistics support during that horrific time. I’ll never forget when a DLA Information Operations senior manager asked if I was available to deploy as part of a DLA team going to Puerto Rico to assist with the recovery process. Unfortunately, due to other family matters, I had to decline the offer. Other great and happy memories include participating in the annual zombie run/walk on Halloween – a great opportunity to be competitive, work out, have fun, or simply to meet other people and start new friendships.
What is one thing you’d like others to know about your heritage?
I was born and raised in the small town of Barceloneta, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico became part of U.S. during the Hispano-American war in 1898, but it wasn’t until 1917 when all Puerto Ricans born on the island were granted American citizenship. The two languages of the island are Spanish and English, but for centuries, Spanish has remained the dominant language. The Spanish language and the Hispanic/Latin culture have created unity between the Caribbean islands, Central and South American countries.
Hispanic-Americans and Hispanics residing in other countries are proud of the heritage and customs that our ancestors passed down throughout the centuries – creating a humble, laborious workforce, and a passionate culture. Personal excellence from a job well done is what puts a person at the top of the labor supply chain. Lastly, Hispanics are family oriented and enjoy big gatherings to celebrate commemorative life events or just a simple familial Sunday gathering after church.
Why is it important to you that we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions of numerous men and women who have transcended barriers and forged frontiers. The intense labor and dedication, along with the rhythm, cadence, flavor and color of the culture have allowed Hispanics to exceed expectations. Hispanics’ contributions to society go beyond blue-collar vocations and cover various venues – from the fashion industry (Oscar de la Renta, from the Dominican Republic); to medicine (Dr. Antonia Cohello Novello, who served as Surgeon General); music (Gloria Estefan, Jose Feliciano and others); culinary arts (Chef Andres, from Espana; Jose Mendin, from Puerto Rico; and Daniela Soto-Innes, from Mexico); Nobel Peace Prize Winners (Rigoberta Menchu, from Guatemala); space exploration (Dr. Ellen Ochoa served as Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center); literature (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, from Colombia, is author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Isabel Allende is the Chilean author of The House of Spirits) and many more. The hands of many talented Hispanics have created a continent of knowledge and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.