Surface Warfare Officer Represents Naval Surface Forces in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 
By Naval Surface Forces Diversity Office 
PHOENIX – Naval Surface Forces Flag Secretary Lt. Cmdr. Milciades “Tony” Then represented the Surface Warfare Community at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SPHE) National Conference held Nov. 12 – 15 in Phoenix, which is known as the major event for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the largest technical and career conference for Hispanics in the country.

Each year, 5,000 engineering professionals, students and corporate representatives attend SHPE Conference where opportunities exist for engineering companies, corporations and government entities like the Navy to recruit top talent from SHPE membership. Then was there to talk to students about his experiences as a Surface Warfare Officer and the available opportunities in the Navy in a career in technology and engineering.

“I have been a professional member of SHPE since 2001. As a member of the organization, I am given the opportunity to interact with other engineers and engineering students during the events in San Diego and Norfolk and at the last conference,” Then said, who serves in the office of Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, Commander, Naval Surface Forces and Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

At the conference, Then served as the senior coach and judge for the Navy “Extreme Engineering” team. There were eight teams of 10 students each who were picked from 160 college students who tried-out for the event. The teams were assigned the task of designing of a potable water system for a South American rural community.

“I was very impressed by the college students on our team because they took the challenge head-on and for 24 hours focused on accomplishing the mission. They developed their idea, designed a prototype and created business and marketing plans,” Then said. While Then’s team didn’t take top honors, his leadership made an impact on the students who were heard chanting, “Let’s go Navy!”

Then was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and later moved to Miami, Florida where he attended high school. He enlisted in the Navy and attended the Broadened Opportunities for Officer Selection and Training Program before graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1997. His shipboard tours have included engineering billets, including his first department head tour as Chief Engineer aboard USS DONALD COOK (DDG 75). Following that tour, he had early command of PC Crew LIMA and was deployed to the Arabian Gulf.

“All of my work has been professionally rewarding, but being the CO of a ship has been the best,” Then said. He enjoyed conducting operations and patrolling the Northern Arabian Gulf immensely. “I was the Commanding Officer of PC CREW LIMA, and the Captain of the USS SIROCCO (PC 6) patrolling Iraqi waters and protecting the Al Basra and Ka'wr al Amaya oil platforms.” Then has also served as Commanding Officer of USS SQUALL (PC 7) in Little Creek, Va.
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