Way back when he was a baby, Sarkis Tatigian was already dressing like a sailor. But who could have guessed how it would turn out. He didn't just join the Navy.
"I believe I'm the longest civilian worker currently in the Defense Department," says Tatigian.
That's right. Next week, Tatigian will mark 70 years as a government employee.
He enlisted in 1943 and was part of a group that testing the first guided missile, nicknamed BAT. It was used to destroy Japanese ships during World War II.
"It was awesome to see the work that was going on," says Tatigian. "It was all classified. Nobody knew what it was leading up to."
He did a variety of jobs over the years. Now, he's associate director of small business programs for the Naval Sea Systems Command. He's seen a lot of change and still marvels a bit about the time when email emerged.
"I had heard about it," he says. "Certain people were using it. I couldn't believe that was possible. The person's here and he sends an email to the West Coast."
Tatigian will turn 90 next month. He's now working with his co-workers' grown children.
Now, Tatigian's son is thinking of retiring, but the father has "no immediate plans" to retire. He has a lot of work to do.
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