FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz.- After 35 years of dedicated service to the nation and the United States Army, the Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) G35 Future Operations Division Chief, Adelina Cartagena, retired during a ceremony Dec. 16.
For all 35 years, Cartagena served as a subject matter expert for NETCOM. As she concluded her career in information technology, cyber and network management, those who knew her reveled in her accomplishments.
“Lina’s career has been truly remarkable and incredible,” said Patrick Dedham, NETCOM Deputy to the Commanding General. “She started out as a Department of Defense intern [Telecommunications Specialist] back in 1988, where she was assigned to the Army Signal Command, which is of course now NETCOM.”
After gaining valuable experience as an intern, Cartagena moved on to her first assignments working as a Department of the Army civilian.
Working with the Directorate of Information Management, Cartagena was introduced to early technology that helped shape how the Army operates.
“She became the lead trainer for the IBM [International Business Machines] post email system,” Dedham said. “It was one of the first email systems that we actually had.”
It was early in her career Cartagena found love for her chosen profession.
“I enjoyed working and helping shape the technology that supports the Army,” Cartagena said.
In 1994, Cartagena joined the Army Network and Systems Operations Center and began to manage more of the Army’s network infrastructure.
“I remember her out there installing ATM [asynchronous transfer mode] switches at places like Fort Gordon, Fort Hood and Fort Leavenworth,” Dedham explained. “Getting them up and operational, which became the Army's Network backbone for quite some time.”
Over the next two decades, Cartagena continuously increased her roles and responsibilities in support of NETCOM.
No matter the position or challenge, Cartagena’s dedication never wavered, and her contributions were always impactful.
“Lina, thank you so much for everything you've done for the Army, NETCOM and what you’ve done for all of us,” Dedham said.
The Family, friends and co-workers in attendance smiled hearing Cartagena’s accolades, and that is something she will never forget.
“I will miss working closely with the NETCOM team,” Cartagena said. “The friendships and relationships I’ve found, both personally and professionally, will always stick with me.”
Cartagena received the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award, the Army’s second highest civilian service award, and a flag previously flown over the U.S. capitol during the ceremony.
Looking back at the people she worked with, Cartagena thanked those who helped contribute towards her success.
“I want to thank General Eubank, General Barrett and Sergeant Major [McCoy] for all the support, and for the opportunity to work at NETCOM,” Cartagena said. “I was fortunate to work with great leaders and great people throughout my career.”
As Cartagena reflected on her career, Dedham acknowledged seeing her retire as a very heartfelt event for those in attendance.
“This is a sad day for NETCOM because we're losing one of our valued teammates and one of our big leaders,” Dedham explained. “But it's also a happy day because we get to see one of our dear friends, somebody we really care about, move on to the next stage.”
The Army depends on DA Civilians as well as Soldiers, and Cartagena will miss that team dynamic.
“We all worked together to get the mission done,” Cartagena said. “It was a team accomplishment to provide support that, in the end, helped Soldiers.”
For more news about NETCOM please visit: https://www.army.mil/netcom