Defense, Space & Security
For U.S. Marine Corps member Felipe
Colon, the dinner was in the details.
When Colon had to sign for the
bulk meals provided to Marines during
a monthlong exercise, he received a
manifest but no food. The supplier
assured him the order was on its way,
but that wasn’t good enough for the
then–lance corporal from the 3rd Air/
Naval Gunfire Company.
A trip to the warehouse confirmed
Colon’s suspicions: The meals were still
undelivered, and the order didn’t match
the count he had provided. Had he not
checked, the Marines he supported
would have left with only half the food
they needed for the mission. He said
that it had happened before—troops
would raise money and collect food
wherever they could get it to make up
for the shortage—but under his watch,
it wasn’t going to happen again.
“In boot camp we were taught to
question and investigate anything out
of the ordinary or suspicious,” he said.
“Everything has to be accounted for,
and then you are taught to inspect it.
You carry that through life.”
And that’s just what Colon has
done over his 17-year career at Boeing.
His current job as a technical design
engineer at Boeing’s Integrated
Airplane Systems Lab in Seattle
involves tracking drawings and parts,
Technical design engineer
and verifying bills of materials.
“I got to really understand that what
we were doing over there was a matter
of life and death,” Colon said. “Almost
like Boeing: If we’re missing a part or
something on a plane, we’re carrying
lives. If I hadn’t learned that, I wouldn’t
really appreciate what I actually do
here, what I build—the importance for
me and for the company.” •
PHOTO: BOB FERGUSON | BOEING
NOVEMBER 2016 | 33