FORT BELVOIR, Virginia –
Name: Maria Luisa Caro-Stumpf
Organization: Defense Logistics Agency Energy Operations Center
Years of Service: 20 years Army, 20 years civilian
I was barely 18 when I started U.S. Army Basic Training. My 20-year Army career was very rewarding to me. I learned a career in administration and logistics, received a master’s degree, held numerous leadership positions, learned German and became a linguist and traveled around the world.
What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically?
Logistics Management Specialist, I work as a watch officer in the DLA Energy Operations Center. I receive, analyze, compile and assemble fuel status briefings to be disseminated and briefed to DLA Energy leadership. I receive and manage classified and unclassified fuel-related reports from all areas where DLA Energy is engaged in providing fuel support, to include support in times of disaster.
What do you find challenging and rewarding in your job?
To learn my new commodity – FUEL – and attempt to keep up with the very knowledgeable people I work with in the Operations Center… and that’s my challenge. Prior to DLA Energy, I worked for DLA Troop Support where they deal with various other DLA commodities. And whether it is fuel, water, MREs, wire or making an inventory, my reward is in supporting where the need is, the warfighter or in support of a disaster. I feel honored to know I am a part of an agency whose modus operandi is SUPPORT!
What does this year’s theme, “Shaping the Bright Future of America,” mean to you?
I can easily relate this theme directly to my children and grandchildren as they are part of the United States’ future. There are so many parts of the future with which we must concern ourselves, that it would be an impossible task to tackle them all at the same time. But if we can pick one that we feel passionate about and make an honest attempt to improve it for their sake, then that’s what we should do. In my case it is the sustainability of our environment, which is being decimated by all types of pollutants. I focus on the one that I know I can do something about, and that is recycling. I became a “recycling bug” while living in Germany and even though it’s more difficult here, it is doable. I applaud DLA for being very proactive and involved in this effort.
What is the importance of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the workplace?
As with any other ethnic group I believe we make our own valuable and interesting contribution to the United States workplace. As the largest percentage of minorities in DLA and the country, I feel we have a great responsibility to represent the value that most of us inherited from our parents – honest and dedicated work.
What are some unique traditions you have that make the Hispanic culture special for you?
The real intricate details of celebrations. We celebrate from birth to death in a very unique and elaborate manner. This includes the compadre/comadre relationship that a baptism forms, the princess fairy tale of the quinciañera, the 13 coins heirloom box of the wedding and the home viewing of the loved ones.
A personal motto or words of wisdom you would like to share?
I strongly believe in, and attempt to follow something my father persistently tried to inculcate in us - “You are owner of your thoughts and slave to your words.”