MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) -- On Dec. 15, Que Nguyen, an IT specialist at Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) in Monterey, Calif., retired after 28 years of selfless service. Nguyen's life is a true American success story filled with perseverance, compassion and dedication to his community.
Nguyen left his native country of Vietnam in April 1975 for Camp Pendleton, California, aboard a U.S. Seventh Fleet ship to begin a new life in America. At first, he was taken in by Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Iowa to help settle into the American lifestyle. He worked at the local First National Bank's Customer Service Department, where he polished his customer service skills that would stay with him through his career. Within his very first year in the U.S., he not only became a productive member of society but also sponsored family members' moves from Vietnam and helped over 30 other immigrant Vietnamese to adjust to local life.
In the 1980s, Nguyen began work at FNMOC as a contractor for the Control Data Corporation (CDC), where he worked in the Hardware Maintenance Group performing preventative maintenance on the CDC Mainframes. In July 1999, Nguyen began his new career with FNMOC as a civil service IT specialist with an enthusiastic attitude recognized by all he worked with.
Keith Nuttall was his direct supervisor and fondly remembers what it was like to work with such an exceptional team member: "Que got the job done, whatever the job was ... and it was done right."
In Keith's division, Nguyen was the predominant project lead on the fiber optic cable replacement plan for the command and the computer center's unused equipment removal mission. "Que had a key role in each new generation of hardware at FNMOC," said Nuttall, "Que was centrally involved in several major computer center overhauls and always put his heart into the projects."
After 25 years of service, he received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for "consistently performing extraordinarily high quality work in all areas of responsibility." In his citation, Capt. John Okon detailed how "Mr. Nguyen's performance has always been the model of civil service (as) he flawlessly executed mission requirements in support of FNMOC's core mission." His award raves about always maintaining a positive, "can-do" attitude, and how "he displayed industrious, conscientious dependability in performing tasks-always reliable (and) accepting full responsibility."
At his retirement appreciation ceremony, his impact on the FNMOC community was in full view with over 50 people showing their support. The group shared stories of their appreciation for Nguyen's devotion and enthusiasm.
"Thank you for bringing a positive attitude ... every day to work, and (thus) making me work harder," said coworker Trent Hancock. Then, coworker and friend Billy Odom continued with expressing ways in how Nguyen had "been an excellent mentor."
Nguyen was appreciated by all he touched during his time at FNMOC, most especially his command leaders. In a personal appreciation letter presented from now Rear Adm. John Okon, commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, he said: "Each and every day I was inspired by you to give my all, because I knew you were giving me your all."
In her closing remarks, Commanding Officer Capt. Jennifer Eaves congratulated Nguyen with these heartwarming words: "The Navy is absolutely grateful to you and to your family and your entire community for having lifted up the quality of what we are as a nation. It is crystal clear from the people who are standing here today that they appreciate that ... (and) that you are near and dear to their hearts and that you do leave a mark on FNMOC forever."
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