April 2020 VetSpot: Lucia Brightwell

Lucia Brightwell while serving in the U.S. Navy
Lucia Brightwell while serving in the U.S. Navy

This month, VMSI is excited to honor Lucia Brightwell for our April VetSpot! Lucia has been with VMSI since 2016 and currently provides Senior Program Management SupportĀ to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Name: Lucia Brightwell
  • Rank: Lieutenant Commander / O-4
  • Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Years of Service: 23
  • Awards or medals: Joint Commendation, Navy Commendation, Navy Achievement, Humanitarian, and National Defense Medals
  • How many years have you been retired: 8 years, 3 months

Lucia joined the U.S. Navy in order to pursue a higher education but found that she also truly enjoyed the comradery and the opportunity to lead young men and women. Her time in the military allowed her to travel to many different countries, her favorites being Jordan, Bulgaria, Rome, and Singapore. She held a variety of positions including Information Systems Officer, Damage Control Officer, Electrical Division Officer, Communications Officer, Operations Officer, Combat Systems Officer, Staff Operations Officer, Training Systems Analyst, and Executive Officer.

Lucia was the first female officer onboard a Navy Destroyer and the first female Engineering Officer onboard the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier. While onboard the aircraft carrier, she attended Fleet Week in New York for OPSAIL 2000 and had the opportunity to meet former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Clinton. During this event, she also got to enjoy the NYC 4th of July fireworks from the carrier as it was anchored in the Hudson River.

Lucia recommends these tips for anyone transitioning into civilian life:

  • Do not be afraid. You are qualified for anything you decide to do.
  • Network with other veterans!
  • Keep an open mind and the right career will come to you!

Thank you for your service, Lucia, and for sharing your experiences with the #VMSIFamily!