By Earl Bittner, NAVFAC Southeast Public Affairs
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast Commanding Officer Capt. Pat Garin presented accolades to a long time NAVFAC employee and civil servant Aug. 15, in advance of her Sept. 3 retirement.
Lillie Jensen, procurement technician and office automation specialist at Resident Officer in Charge of Construction (ROICC), Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, was presented a letter of appreciation, a plaque and a command coin from Garin as she approached the close out of nearly 50 years of service, 23 with the ROICC office.
'Miss Lillie,' as she is affectionately known by her co-workers, served as a civil servant to the Navy and the federal government for more than 49 years. She began her career as a clerk typist in 1966 in a motor pool at Fort MacArthur, San Pedro, California.
"Miss Lillie is the heart and soul of our office and is dedicated to the people who make up our team," said ROICC Barksdale Resident Engineer Darin Bailey. "Her personable spirit has nurtured tremendous relationships across the base, the local community and NAVFAC."
Jensen handled the government purchase credit card duties and records management at the ROICC Barksdale office. She acted as the facilities manager, Wide Area Work Flow point of contact (POC), computer services POC, transportation fleet manager and office budget manager. She was the office organizer, celebrations planner and the center of gravity for office morale.
"You have made an everlasting impact providing invaluable personal and administrative support to many civil engineer corps officers," said Garin. "You had the reputation as an individual dedicated to the welfare of the office and upholding what are the Navy's core values. Your commitment, professionalism and selfless devotion were instrumental to the success of ROICC Barksdale and to NAVFAC Southeast."
Jensen said her government career has enabled her to work on many memorable projects, approximately 90 at Barksdale alone totaling more than $300 million and with many people, but she counts the 12 ROICC officers and four resident engineers she's worked with as the most memorable of them all.
"Each of the ROICCs I have worked with over the past 23 years, here at Barksdale, has been a great influence on me and I have special memories that I will always treasure from each of them," said Jensen. "I will also miss the family atmosphere we have here."
Jensen said she doesn't have a lot of plans for retirement.
"I think I might sleep in a little later than 5 a.m.," said Jensen. "And spend more time working on my silhouette cameo vinyl hobby. I also plan to spend more time with my three sisters and numerous nieces and nephews."
"Lillie has been that 'mother' figure for most of us in the office for quite a while," said Bailey. "Things just run smoother and all the details get filled in when she is around. She will be leaving a void and will be sorely missed."
Jensen said she is very, very proud of the men and women she has served with over the years but the most exciting single highlight of her career was winning the Peggy B. Craig Lifetime Service Award in 2015.
"I believe I won the award because of the way I have approached my career and that's the advice I leave for those that follow me," said Jensen. "Take pride in your work, your job is a reflection of the person you are. Always lend a helping hand to your co-workers and be proud to work for NAVFAC and the United States government."
"NAVFAC Southeast is losing an extremely valuable employee and team member," said Garin. "I hope your retirement provides you with new challenges as rewarding and fulfilling as those you have achieved throughout your civil service career. Bravo Zulu for a job well done and I wish you fair winds and following seas!"