Beyond the Call of Duty and Service

A story about Native Lt. Cmd. Kenneth Vargas, who was honored by the U.S. Navy for his service.
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Bridgeport, Texas, native Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth L. Vargas, Choctaw Nation, is one of seven United States Navy Sailors being featured in the U.S. Navy campaign “Honoring Navy Achievement.” Honoring Navy Achievement recognizes Navy personnel, both past and present, who have gone beyond the call of duty and service to have a positive impact in the communities where they serve.

Lt. Cmdr. Vargas has been in the Navy for more than 25 years and serves as a Contingency Engineer/Disaster Preparation Officer at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Growing up as a young Native American, Vargas felt his heritage would be a constant barrier that he would have to overcome. Vargas joined in 1985 and found that the Navy provided opportunities for him to travel the world and attend school and helped him develop to become one of the highest-ranking Active Duty Native American Officers to date. Married, Vargas is committed to giving back and has worked with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) over the past five years, mentoring Native American youth. Vargas states, “The Navy gives you tools that, if used properly, will let you overcome any fear…I love being a Sailor, and the sea is something I respect but do not fear. The Navy has delivered on all of its promises to me.”

Capt. Horatio Fernandez, Diversity Director at Navy Recruiting Command states, "Last year, visitors to the Facebook page of 'Beyond the Call' nominated other deserving individuals in the Navy whose efforts both on duty and in the community warranted recognition. Because we want to know more about our sailors from people who know and admire their efforts, we invite you to share your stories of Navy achievers by uploading a story and photo on the Facebook page."

Learn more about the United States Navy here.

May is National Military Appreciation Month and throughout the month ICTMN will be profiling and recognizing our military heroes. Native Americans serve at a higher rate per capita than any other group. ICTMN welcomes submissions of photos, stories, and news about events for possible publication. Contact us at editor@ictmn.com.