News | March 20, 2020

Women’s History Month spotlight: Maria Rodriguez

By DLA Energy Public Affairs

Editor’s note: March is Women’s History Month and this year’s Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute theme is “Honoring the Past, Securing the Future.” Throughout the month, we will spotlight Defense Logistics Agency Energy employees who are honoring their history and making a difference through their accomplishments both in their workplace and community.

Describe your job: I’m an Aerospace Energy Resolution Specialist performing accountable inventory reconciliation activities to include investigating discrepancies, initiating inventory comparisons and counts based on balance differences, and supporting a variety of partners/customers within the aerospace industry.

How long have you worked at DLA? I’ve worked for DLA since 2003. I joined the Aerospace Energy team in November 2018 from the DLA Energy Americas East Houston office. I’ve served in every DLA Energy office except this one, so I thought I make it my last stop before retirement. The last four years of my military service prior to retiring, I developed a strong connection to DLA. As a U.S. Army Petroleum Supply Specialist from 1979-2002, I served in a variety of positions, commands and deployments. I feel privileged to continue serving as a member of the DLA Energy team. 

What makes you proud about your job? I'm proud that DLA Energy affords me the opportunity to serve in ways beyond the office. For example, when natural disasters occurred I volunteered with the DLA Energy’s Task Force Americas during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. I deployed to multiple inhospitable locations, under less than desirable conditions, e.g. no electricity or clean running water, to perform services needed to help others.  

Can you share your most recent professional success story? Since my arrival at Energy Aerospace, I researched, developed and completed a data cleansing effort to align Defense Fuel Support Point inventories with DLA Energy’s Enterprise Business System. I was responsible for updating Aerospace regulations/guidance, which was instrumental in providing closure for DLA Audit’s office notice of findings and recommendation in a timely manner.  

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment? My first time on an airplane was in 1979 when I traveled from Puerto Rico to attend Army Basic Training. I spoke no English. Through hard work and sleepless nights, I learned English by reading newspapers, books and watching the news. My life changed when I left the comforts of my home to join the Army more than 40 years ago. I've come a long way and I consider this life-changing decision my greatest accomplishment.

How do you honor your past? Never forgetting where I came from. I celebrate my great heritage and honor my past through family and friends still living in Puerto Rico. Our culture is very diverse and we maintain long standing traditions through food, music and holidays.