Lockheed Martin Veteran Spends a Lifetime Working in Defense of the Nation
Employee’s World War II Service Connects Back to
Glenn L. Martin Company
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) senior operations analyst Eugene Visco is one of the thousands of veterans Lockheed Martin will honor today, recognizing their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice.
Visco has worked for Lockheed Martin at the Orlando MFC facility since 2009, some 63 years after he was honorably discharged from his service as a combat air crewman in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
“What impresses me about Lockheed Martin is the way I am treated as an individual,” Visco said. “I like the excitement of what I am doing. It is military oriented and I have a strong sense of patriotism, a strong sense of trying to do what’s right for the defense of the nation.”
Visco will travel to the Center for Leadership Excellence in Bethesda, Md., this week for the annual Military/Veterans Forum. He will likely be the only veteran to have served during World War II, but at age 86, he readily admits his admiration for all those who have served.
Visco has spent a lifetime trying to do what’s right for the defense of the nation. And although Visco is a relative newcomer to Lockheed Martin, his connection to the company dates back to his teens when he was a crewman on a Martin Mariner – a patrol bomber flying boat of World War II that was developed by the Glenn L. Martin Company in the 1930s.
His love of country – and the U.S. Navy – started when he was just a boy, maybe 10 or 11. That’s when he “fell in love with the Navy” and decided he might pursue it as a career.
At age 15, he took a civil service exam, along with about 100 other boys and men, all seeking a coveted appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He placed in the top three, as second alternate, and he could see his future taking shape once he graduated from his Massachusetts high school.
Shortly after the test he received a letter from the Department of the Navy notifying him that he must be 17 by April 1 of the year he planned to enter the U.S. Naval Academy. He missed the cut off by 19 days. Defeated but determined, Visco joined the Navy after graduation in June 1944.
He can’t say where his love of the military and national defense comes from since no one in his family had ever served and his father wasn’t eligible for the draft.
“I just thought it was the right thing to do,” he said.
During his two years in the Navy he helped maintain and operate the weapons on the patrol bomber, stood radar watches and manned the bow machine gun turret. Visco’s 12-man crew spent many hours in flight carrying out air-sea rescue operations and conducting patrols around the Philippine Islands. The patrol bomber could remain in flight for 15 hours without refueling.
After the Navy, Visco attended college and then landed a teaching job before beginning his federal service. He has worked as an operations analyst since 1956, first with The Johns Hopkins University Operations Research Office under contract with the U.S. Army.
His career has taken him to Vietnam where he led an analysis team attached to the U.S. Army’s Mechanized and Armor Combat Operations project; to work where he performed cost-effectiveness studies of weapon systems, war gaming, operations other than war, etiology of fratricide and human behavior in combat; and a tenure with the staff of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army for Operations Research.
He retired in 1997 from federal service, but never stopped working and he has no immediate plans to do so now, continuing his life’s work in national defense. And while he believes he still has knowledge he can pass on to colleagues, he is also quick to say that he sits in “great awe” of the people on his team.
Long since the Martin Mariner has been retired from service, Visco continues his work to ensure the products Lockheed Martin is developing provide cost-effective advances.
“Most of my life has been spent doing some kind of analysis in support of national defense,” he said.
His service in the Navy was two years and he never saw combat, but, he said, it gave him an “enduring respect for those who serve.”
“We very quickly talk about those who serve as people who go in harm’s way,” Visco said. “I feel pretty strongly about the people who do that. They rank pretty high in my estimation.”
November 11, 2013
- Eugene Visco is one of the thousands of veterans Lockheed Martin will honor today, recognizing their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice.
- Visco's connection to the company dates back to his teens when he was a crewman on a Martin Mariner
- Visco retired in 1997 from federal service, but never stopped working and he has no immediate plans to do so now, continuing his life’s work in national defense.