News | May 19, 2022

AANHPI Heritage Month Employee Spotlight: Gilbert Delagente

By DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

Editor’s Note: During the month of May, the great achievements of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are highlighted to celebrate the contributions that generations of AANHPI have made to American history, society and culture.

In 1978, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter designated May as Asian Pacific Heritage Week. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.

Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Pacific Director and Special Emphasis Program Champion Faron Cordrey highlighted select members of the DLA Disposition Services Pacific region that have special ties with AANHPI Heritage Month.

Gilbert Delagente was born in the Philippines and is the youngest of seven. His family migrated to Guam when he was young, and has been traveling ever since as he has traveled the world throughout his career. His favorite place is with his family. 

Group photo consisting of two men and three women.
Defense Logistics Agency employee Gilbert Delagente with his family.
Group photo consisting of two men and three women.
AANHPI Heritage Month
Defense Logistics Agency employee Gilbert Delagente with his family.
Photo By: Kelly Burell
VIRIN: 220512-D-D0441-232
As a child, he wanted to be an engineer, but due to financial constraints, decided to join the U.S. Navy after high school, and in 1986, he enlisted.  In 2009, he retired from active duty achieving the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer.

After retirement, he started working for DLA in 2011, and currently works for DLA Disposition Services as the operations monitor for the Pacific Region.

His favorite memory with DLA Disposition Services is when he worked at the Pearl Harbor site. He enjoyed interacting directly with the customers, especially the military customers. 

Delagente credits his love for the military and DLA to U.S. Army Gen. Douglas McArthur.  As a young boy growing up in the Philippines, he heard stories about McArthur’s love for the Filipino people during WWII. 

“Gen. McArthur’s famous three words remain stuck in my mind till this day, ’I shall return,’” he said.  “Learn as much as you can and take pride in everything you do.”

Delagente is very proud of his Filipino heritage.

“It’s important to have a month to recognize the histories and stories of a part of the world,” he said. “As an Asian American myself, it is nice to be recognized and appreciated. I love to share stories of where I’m from, and I try to instill the best values from my own upbringing into my children.”

Food is a window into a different culture other than one’s own and can open the door to a learning experience for those who are not familiar with other cultures. For Delagente, food is a way he can immerse his children into their Filipino ethnicity.

“My favorite tradition is to share the food of my culture with my family,” he said. “I enjoy teaching my kids how to cook the foods that are important to my heritage so that they can pass the recipes down to their family.”