Dime in the Community Profile: Luis Sic
October 15, 2018 |
Dime employees represent a diverse group of individuals who each bring unique skill sets, business experience and cultural backgrounds to help create a productive workplace environment and customer service atmosphere of excellence. In fact, the Dime staff is one of the strengths of Dime Community Bank and a real competitive advantage.
Although Dime employees demonstrate daily their skills and talents in their area of responsibility at the Bank, there are many individuals at Dime who also possess talents that are displayed outside the workplace.
For Luis Sic, Assistant Branch Manager, Glen Oaks Branch, these talents extend to engineering and military service. Luis joined Dime in 2015 and, after completing the Dime Management Training program, became an assistant branch manager. Prior to joining Dime, Luis served in the United States Marine Corps in the area of Combat Engineering from 2008 to 2013.
Driven to be a part of something greater
Throughout his life, Luis felt the drive to do something on a larger scale. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of something bigger,” noted Luis. “Even during my school years, I had a strong passion for sports and comradery,” he added.
Born and raised in Freeport, Long Island, Luis attended Freeport High School. His love of sports was evident by his participation in soccer, wrestling, track and lacrosse.
At the same time, Luis became actively engaged in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at Freeport High School for four years. ROTC prepares young adults to become officers in the United States Military. Although the program featured a Navy-based curriculum, Luis stated the instructor was a Marine. According to Luis, the instructor declared “Sic, you’re gonna join the Marine Corps after you get out of High School.” Luis then recalled, “After I graduated from Boot Camp, I went to see my ROTC instructor.” “After he congratulated me, he said ‘I told you’,” added Luis.
Answering the call
In 2009, Luis joined the Marine Corps combat engineers. Following Boot Camp, he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. While in Okinawa, Luis was asked to become part of a team heading over to Afghanistan. “I approached it like pulling off a band aid,” noted Luis. “We were in a time of war and I decided it was time to put everything I learned in practice to work.”
Still relatively young at the age of 19 years old, Luis went on to experience his first tour of duty at Camp Leatherneck which was based in the southern part of Afghanistan. Camp Leatherneck was deemed a “safe base” for civilians and contractors (individuals who worked for the Department of Defense). A tour lasts seven months. All told, Luis made two tours during the years 2010 through 2013, which totaled approximately one year’s time.
During his first tour, Luis worked many construction projects, operating heavy equipment. “Initially, I went in to be part of security, but then wound up playing an active role in operating the heavy equipment,” stated Luis. “Our assignment consisted of making road repairs for strategic roads, which served a dual purpose for the United States and the local farmers,” recalled Luis. “We worked in squads comprised of three teams. Each team consisted of two people and a field team leader,” he added. “The Marine Corps are based on small unit leadership.”
On another tour, his unit was assigned to work as part of a bridge platoon. “Our main focus was to retrograde all of the military crossings,” Luis stated. “That meant we had to take apart our medium girder bridges and replace them with basic materials.” This effort took place during the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Reflecting on his time in Afghanistan during the tours, Luis mentioned the importance of keeping focus and staying calm. “Essentially, our training created the muscle memory for everyone to do their assigned tasks,” he recalled. “What kept us focused were the people around us and a strong bond of trust.” He added, “We never knew exactly where we were going, but we trusted the men in our group.”
During his tours in Afghanistan, Luis developed many skills that would serve him well upon his return to civilian life. “In the Marine Corps, I learned the importance of discipline, chain of command and protocol,” he noted. “Accountability was really important, since each person was responsible for his/her part,” stressed Luis. “Communication on the job was also important,” stated Luis. “We needed to have everyone on the same page and communication helped ensure everyone knew their role.”
As a result of his time, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in another country, Luis cited some key life lessons he learned. “When you go to another country, you should see how people in that country live,” he explained. “You should be humble, respect one another, and appreciate what you have,” he noted.
Today, he lives in Freeport with his significant other, Shirley Macias, and their daughter Isabella Rose Sic.