ORLANDO, Fla. --
In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) proudly spotlights valued team members who are part of this heritage and contribute to the success of its acquisition mission.
José Rodriguez-Sanjurjo, a cost estimator in the MCSC Training Systems (TRASYS) Program Management Office in Orlando, Fla., was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, spending most of his formative years growing up in Central Florida.
“Heritage celebrations are important because they remind us of our shared history as a nation of immigrants, explorers, early settlers and colonists, and hardworking folks who have always fought to protect our cherished values and freedoms,” Rodriguez said. “I believe that, in celebrating our heritage, we celebrate America.”
Rodriguez follows in his family’s tradition of military service, being the third generation working in support of our Nation’s military. His grandfather was an Army civilian, followed by his father, uncle and brother serving active duty in the Army. Rodriguez rounds out this tradition as a Civilian Marine.
“My parents were the first in my family to move to mainland United States in search of better opportunities for us,” Rodriguez said. His family is mostly of Spanish descent, but his maternal grandmother’s family immigrated to Puerto Rico from Boston, Mass., in the early 19th century and was descendants of pre-revolutionary American colonists. Rodriguez is proud to come from a heritage that, like most others, values family, community and hard work.
“Within my own Puerto Rican culture our varying skin tones reflect different cultures and ethnicities,” he said. “Yet we all identify as Puerto Rican. Within the greater Latino culture, regardless of what nation state we come from, we all share in the Latino experience and embrace one another as the same people. This has given me a greater appreciation of what it means to be American.”
By learning about the different heritages and traditions that co-exist at MCSC, Rodriguez believes Command members learn to better appreciate our Nation's men and women in uniform.
“In promoting a workplace as diverse as the community we all come from and serve, we are building our teams on the very same foundations and values we hold dear as Americans in the community at large,” Rodriguez said. “The Marines we serve are as diverse as the communities we call home. While they all wear the same uniform, they bring diverse values and life experiences to the Corps that strengthen it regardless of what people group they hail from.”
By celebrating the things that make us individuals, Rodriguez believes we honor them, we honor our overarching American culture, and we strengthen the work teams at MCSC.