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News | Sept. 29, 2022

Commentary: Honoring the accomplishments of Retired DLA Employee Romulo Alberto Faria during Hispanic Heritage Month

By Shirley M. Cartagena DLA Land and Maritime EEO Hispanic Employment Program

It’s Spring of 2022 and we’re in the building for a short stint after the pandemic – hard to shake the twilight zone effect palpable in the air and prior to returning to remote work yet again. As I raise my head, a man is walking briskly toward me. He raises his hand in a welcoming hello and lights up the hall with his smile. Every so often we meet as individuals with low brow, quiet tenacity, and an infectious smile that touches our hearts. That was Romulo Alberto Faria. He was well known within the Hispanic community at the Defense Logistics Agency in Columbus and was always keen to provide guidance and support to new Latinos joining our workforce. His main purpose was to serve others.

Even without you personally knowing him, you can see it in his legacy left within and outside our walls. He worked tenaciously to leave his mark in our telecommunications and IT arena. He received his education from the University of Minnesota, where he studied computer and information science. His first job opportunity at DLA was as a migration systems engineer with DLA Information Operations in Columbus. His calling was designing and providing architecture to such projects as UNIX servers. His work included migrating existing and emerging systems for numerous client activities that exceeded 300 servers. These platforms enabled Romulo to impact many lives even when many of his customers did not know of his presence behind the scenes.

He evolved to work as a DVS-II VTC Hub Manager providing support to our voice and data communications services; propelling him to embark on a quick journey to SAIC as a technical specialist and back with DLA Columbus as a network engineer in the Network Operations and Security Center. He supported DLA’s Global Enterprise Network connectivity which exceeded 30,000 DLA employees at nearly 300 locations around the world. He impacted many people’s work lives without them realizing that behind the scenes was a man that gave support by direction of his knowledge and heart. From here he found his home in leadership at a GS 13 level. Not only was he still impacting employees abroad with decisions made but he was coaching, directing, supporting, developing and paving the way for his team. One of the biggest impacts felt during the pandemic was the introduction and implementation of WebRTC.

Faria made sure individuals he met were seen, heard and felt. His heart beckoned to leave others better than he found them. He yearned to work with the Hispanic community since he is a Venezuelan. Faria was a beacon of inspiration for fellow Latinos in our place of employment and demonstrated that you can pave a path and mentor others in the process without losing your identity and sidestepping your personal calling.

Faria retired from DLA in June and now resides in Montana with his beautiful wife, Kate, of 20 years. His children include Alexander, Kristina and Rebecca. His grandkids include Aurora, Zoria, Santos and Hunter. He’s fully engaged in his spiritual walk and with his extended family of believers he assists on major projects that include audiovisual, service broadcasts, file organization and serving as a teaching assistant. His extracurricular activities include hiking, fishing, marksmanship and exploring the Big Sky state of Montana. We know he is in great hands; but will surely miss him within the confines of our walls.

Continue your calling! And just know that you served us well here in DLA and the Hispanic community.