By Capt. John Carson, Director, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Expeditionary Programs Office
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- After giving more than 50 years of service to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Milon Essoglou contributes even more.
Essoglou serves as the expeditionary technology officer in the NAVFAC Expeditionary Programs Office in Washington, D.C. He works on advancing Navy technologies across a broad spectrum of research and development areas.
"NAVFAC has been very fortunate to have someone like Milon working for them, both in uniform and out," said NAVFAC Commander Rear Adm. Kate Gregory. "The multidisciplinary technology programs and projects Milon has worked on and delivered across his long and distinguished career have significantly contributed to our Navy's and nation's security."
Essoglou received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1955. This is where his journey of service began. Following graduation, he served as a permafrost research engineer for the U.S. Army Arctic Construction and Frost Effect Laboratory. His job at the laboratory was uniquely tied to his studies and thesis at MIT: predicting frost penetration in soils.
Essoglou then joined the Navy and served in the Civil Engineer Corps as an assistant resident officer in charge of construction (ROICC), assistant public works officer (PWO), and ROICC for NAVFAC from 1956-1960. Following active duty, he resumed his civilian civil service career working with the U.S. Army, where he served as the chief, buildings and grounds and assistant facilities engineer in Vicenza, Italy.
Upon his return stateside from Italy, Essoglou served in several positions as a soils and structural dynamics engineer before returning to NAVFAC, then known as the Bureau of Yards and Docks. In 1966, he became the assistant director for the Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDTE) program, in charge of amphibious and advance base systems, shore facilities, weapons effects, ocean engineering and environmental and energy programs.
A few years after receiving a Master's in Research and Development Management from American University in Washington, Essoglou became the senior technologist and a program director for the RDTE Executive Division in 1977. Here he managed the entire program encompassing science, technology and full-scale development.
Essoglou has been instrumental in a number of sea-lift programs that have greatly advanced amphibious operations in today's Navy. Innovative solutions included: the Landing Ship Tank (LST) side-loadable warping tug; the elevated causeway, which is the predecessor of the today's elevated causeway system (ELCAS), a crane ship that functions as a deployable floating pier with cranes for unloading container ships in the absence of port facilities; and an offshore bulk fuel discharge system. These initiatives set the stage for other Navy amphibious operations advancements and initiatives currently in existence today.
"When I think back on these times, I have fond memories of the esprit de corps my fellow workers and I had and the teamwork that was involved in getting these projects through to the finish line," said Essoglou. "We worked long hours sometimes and loved every minute of it. The opportunity to serve the Navy through our work on innovative technology made it all worthwhile."
In addition, Essoglou was instrumental in a number of shore facilities innovation initiatives, including enhanced explosives storage magazines, high temperature resistant concrete pavement for F/A-18s, a relocatable, double-deck, modular reinforced concrete pier and underwater tools, and non-destructive inspection technologies.
Furthermore, he led numerous studies to demonstrate and validate advanced technologies to reduce real property maintenance costs for shore infrastructure, which provided fact based return on investment opportunities to inform facilities management and investment decisions.
In 1990, Essoglou became the director of RDTE at NAVFAC headquarters in Washington and served in many assignments, such as special assistant for environment, Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment (DASN I&E) in 1992, and test director for the Anti-Terrorist Force Protection Program Ashore in 2010.
During his long tenure of dedicated service, Essoglou has been recognized and awarded the Superior Civilian Performance Award and the Society of American Military Engineers' Ben Moreell Medal.