Military Appreciation Month - Employee Spotlight: Jorge Varino

blog_militaryappreciationspotlightjorgevarino1.jpgThe TECO Veterans Alliance (TVA) continues putting the spotlight on team members from various work sites across our organization throughout the month of May. This week, Jorge Varino, Senior Environmental Technician for Tampa Electric, reflects on how his experiences in the United States Navy shaped his life and career.

Jorge Varino – Environmental Air Services

Aviation Ordnance Petty Officer 2nd Class Jorge Varino served in the United States Navy from 1986-1990. His primary responsibilities included maintaining and repairing the aircraft armament launching systems along with loading and unloading missiles, bombs and 20mm rounds. Here is his story.


What were your primary duties during your service?

My first duty station was Naval Air Station Point Mugu near Oxnard, California. Point Mugu is the Navy's major missile development and test facility. I was also assigned to the USS Ranger (CV-61) weapons department, ammunition division. We were responsible for all the ammunition for the ship and the airwing squadrons assigned to the ship. I deployed on the USS Ranger for the 1989 WESTPAC to maintain the balance of power and freedom of the seas.

How did military service impact you?

My wife and I were very young when we got married and started our family. I was working in a local factory, but I needed more to provide for my wife and son since there were not many career opportunities in our town. So, I decided to join the Navy.

After months of training, I was given my first duty station – Point Mugu in California. We loaded up the car and started heading west with our 18-month-old strapped in the backseat. Our car didn’t have air conditioning and driving across the country with a giant paper map was difficult since my co-pilot could not keep her eyes open once she got in the car. Needless to say, we really had to rely on each other and grow up extremely fast. We did not know a soul in California, so we landed on each other and our new military family.

How does your past military service help with your job at TECO?

In the Navy, safety was one of the top priorities. Every morning we had job safety briefings and foreign object damage (FOD) walkdowns on the airfield and on the flight deck of the ships. We were one big family and wanted everyone home safe, just like here at TECO.