Former Nanuet Resident Promoted to Navy Commander; Credits Catherine Nowicki for Success

Former Nanuet, N.Y, resident was promoted to the rank of Navy commander during a ceremony at the McNamara Headquarters Complex, Fort Belvoir, Va., Dec. 28. Navy Commander Emily Allen, (nee Li) graduated from Nanuet Senior High School in 1993 and attributes most of her success to her high school English teacher, Catherine Nowicki.

Allen said she was a great inspiration in her life and one of the reasons she chose a career as a naval officer.

“A lot of people helped me get here, but in particular I owe a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Nowicki,” Allen said. “She had a huge impact on my life and on the lives of many others. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.”

Allen currently serves as the mission support team engineer in the Joint Contingency Acquisition Support Office at the Defense Logistics Agency, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va.

As a member of the mission support team, she is prepared to deploy on short notice to combat areas of operations in a moment’s notice. Allen’s mission is to provide first response program management for contingency acquisition operations worldwide.

“I enjoy what I do; every job is unique and interesting. I get to visit different places around the world, meet all different types of people, and more importantly, the job I have affords me the opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of others,” Allen said.

In 2011, Allen was the DLA military field grade officer of the year, as well as officer of the quarter that same year. She received a joint award for her support of the Hurricane Sandy relief effort in 2012.

During her promotion ceremony, Allen thanked everyone she crossed paths with.

“Through our career and life, we run into great people and not so good ones,” she said. “I have learned and grown from both. They taught me what to do and not to do, and how to deal with all types of characters in life.”

Allen graduated from State University of New York Maritime College with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1997. She was commissioned as a naval officer via the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Program. During the last 15 years, she served onboard USS CARON (DD 970), Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) (the fighting SEABEES), Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Navy Installation Command. She supported operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Allen received her master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland in 2008. She is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia, as well as a member of the Acquisition Professional Community.

Allen is married to a Brooklyn, N.Y., native; they have an 8-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son.

As a Department of Defense combat support agency, DLA provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies, and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and technical services. The agency sources and provides nearly 100 percent of the consumable items America’s military forces need to operate, from food, fuel and energy, to uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment. DLA also supplies more than 80 percent of the military’s spare parts.