Retirement of an original Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering plankowner

21 March 2022

From Daniel Davenport

The Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering bids a fond farewell to one of its original plankowners, Mr. David Lu.
PORT HUENEME, Calif. – A legacy, spanning 44 years of dedicated service to the U.S. Navy, is coming to an end this month, as Mr. David Lu, the first and only executive director in the history of Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE), retires. 

CSFE Executive Director Retirement
220318-N-UQ872-0002 PORT HUENEME, Calif. (Mar. 18, 2022) Mr. Dave Lu, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering executive director, receives a Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award from Capt. Peter J. Macalun, CSFE commanding officer, March 18. Lu, one of CSFE’s original plankowners, is retiring after 44 years of service to the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Davenport)
CSFE Executive Director Retirement
CSFE Executive Director Retirement
220318-N-UQ872-0002 PORT HUENEME, Calif. (Mar. 18, 2022) Mr. Dave Lu, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering executive director, receives a Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award from Capt. Peter J. Macalun, CSFE commanding officer, March 18. Lu, one of CSFE’s original plankowners, is retiring after 44 years of service to the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Davenport)
Photo By: Daniel Davenport
VIRIN: 220318-N-UQ872-0002
CSFE recognized Lu’s long and distinguished service with a farewell luncheon March 18.  At the luncheon, Capt. Peter J. Maculan, CSFE commanding officer, presented Mr. Lu with the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award.

“Dave has done so much for so many during his tenure,” said Maculan. “It’s difficult to find words to show how grateful we really are.”
 
CSFE Command Master Chief Alonso Cadena added, “Dave has provided our nation a perfect example of how to do things the right way during his forty-four year career.”
 
Lu began his career in 1978, entering the U.S. Navy as a seaman recruit. He was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in 1989, and was commissioned as an Ensign through the limited duty officer program in 1994.

Upon his retirement from active duty in 2005, Lu was hired as a civil servant executive director for the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering. He was instrumental in standing up CSFE as a Naval Education Training Command (NETC) learning center.

Lu developed the initial organization of the command and at the same time oversaw the process of recruiting its earliest employees. As a testament to his hard work and dedication to setting up a successful command, CSFE won five consecutive NETC Unit Excellence awards during Lu’s early days with the unit.

During his watch, Lu worked for a total of nine commanding officers, including Capt. (Ret.) Christopher Kurgan, whom he identified as one of his mentors. 
 
“Captain Kurgan developed a culture in learning and trusted growing the culture in the command,” said Lu. “He believed in life work balance.”
 
He also identified Mr. Jim Cowell as an early mentor during his career.
 
“Jim entrusted me without micro-managing. He truly understood leadership in civil engineering,” said Lu.
 
CSFE Executive Director Retirement
220318-N-UQ872-0003 PORT HUENEME, Calif. (Mar. 18, 2022) Tim Haney, Engineering Duty Officer School executive director, presents Mr. Dave Lu, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering executive director, an award of appreciation during a farewell and retirement celebration. Lu, one of CSFE’s original plankowners, is retiring after 44 years of service to the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Davenport)
CSFE Executive Director Retirement
CSFE Executive Director Retirement
220318-N-UQ872-0003 PORT HUENEME, Calif. (Mar. 18, 2022) Tim Haney, Engineering Duty Officer School executive director, presents Mr. Dave Lu, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering executive director, an award of appreciation during a farewell and retirement celebration. Lu, one of CSFE’s original plankowners, is retiring after 44 years of service to the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Davenport)
Photo By: Daniel Davenport
VIRIN: 220318-N-UQ872-0003
Lu offered words of encouragement for future Seabees during his farewell luncheon remarks.
 
“Be compassionate, become a mentor, and meet the execution of the mission,” said Lu.
 
During retirement Lu plans on continuing to volunteer at Santa Clara Church of Oxnard, Calif., traveling the globe, and continuing to take care of his overall mind, body, and soul.

CSFE was established in 2003 to manage and develop curriculum, and oversee training and development of naval facilities engineering and construction professionals by providing the essential skills and knowledge needed to support career growth and Fleet readiness. Currently, CSFE consists of a $60 million operation budget, 219 military personnel, 86 civilians, and 118 contractors dedicated to training and developing 15,000 DOD professionals annually.
 
For more information on CSFE, follow CSFE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CenterForSeabeesPortHueneme  or visit www.public.navy.mil/netc/centers/csfe.
 
 
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