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News | Sept. 27, 2016

Land and Maritime Soldier receives National Image Award

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

A Soldier at Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime has been honored with the 2016 National Image Inc. Award for Meritorious Military Service.

Army Capt. Miracle Garcia, a contracting officer with the Land Supplier Operations directorate, received the award during a Sept. 15 ceremony in Albuquerque, N.M. The ceremony was part of the national Hispanic organization’s annual conference and training program.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Hispanics’ Empowerment: Lead, Inspire and Achieve”.

The Military Meritorious Service Award recognizes members of the U.S. armed forces who have supported their component’s mission and whose attributes best epitomize the qualities and core values of their organization.

Garcia’s supervisor Army Col. Yee Hang said she has already made substantial achievements at DLA, despite being only halfway through her two-year assignment to the agency.

 “She’s a great asset to have and she’s a true leader,” Hang said. “She’s already championed a number of initiatives at DLA, including Feds Feed Families and the Combined Federal Campaign.

“She’s one of the best officers I’ve ever worked with and I wish we had more people like her on the team.”

The award program came at the end of a weeklong conference which included career development seminars and presentations from industry leaders.

 “It was a very educational training event,” Garcia said. “Every forum and breakout session I attended had value for me, and will have an impact on how I lead my team.

“It was very inspirational to me to hear the success stories of the guest speakers – how they overcame personal struggles and demonstrated resiliency to accomplish their goals.”

When she’s not spearheading programs at Land and Maritime, Garcia stays active in her church and local community. She says being a single mother while serving on active duty in the military has strengthened her resiliency.

Garcia says growing up in Hayward, Calif. was difficult for her. She immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in 6th grade and knew very little English. Despite her difficulties with the language, she immersed herself in books and became an avid reader.

“The teachers assumed I wasn’t intelligent because they couldn’t understand what I was saying and since I had no friends when I arrived, books became my friends. I read, and read, and read.”

Eventually, Garcia overcame the cultural and educational challenges, and after excelling in high school she joined the Army as a finance specialist. She served ten years before a taking a hiatus to attend college and receive her bachelor’s degree.

Following her reentry into the U.S. Army, Garcia received her commission and became the honor graduate of her class at Officer Candidate School.

Garcia says throughout her career, her success has been a result of leaders and peers demonstrating the value perseverance.

“The advice I give to anyone who is faced with adversity or difficulty is to keep working towards your objective,” she said. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Work hard, and you’ll find success in life. It’s the American Dream.”

National Image Inc. was founded in 1971 to promote Hispanic employment in the federal government through training, leadership development, education, and the advancement of individual civil rights.