By Capt. Christopher Harrison, Headquarters Marine Corps
FORT BELVOIR, Virginia -- Staff Sgt. Joshua Stone, an imagery analysis specialist assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was posthumously awarded a Bachelor of Science of Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University in July 2017.
Accepting the degree in his place was Staff Sgt. Stone’s uncle, Calvin “Skip” Lucado, Master Sgt. (ret.), a former intelligence Marine currently assigned to Marine Corps Intelligence Activity at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
“Josh had a serious drive and was hell bent on getting his education to build a better career once he retired from the Corps,” said Lucado, “Also to provide for his daughters.”
Staff Sgt. Stone enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2001 as an Aviation Prevision Measurement Equipment Calibration and Repair Technician, laterally moving to the intelligence field in 2006. He deployed in support of humanitarian operations for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, extracting stranded personnel off rooftops in flooded areas; the Tactical Fusion Center (TFC) in Fallujah, Afghanistan for seven months; and the 22nd MEU, facilitating Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) following the earthquake in Haiti.
Lucado was with Stone from the very beginning of his interest in the military, from the time he entered his high school’s Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program. They stayed in touch through multiple deployments, and when Stone sought career advice.
“As Marines, we never stop mentoring those around us, even after we have left the ranks,” said Lucado.
Shortly after commencing the intelligence degree program in 2016, Stone was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Lucado said Stone continued with the demands of his courses, despite undergoing surgery to remove the tumor with follow-on chemotherapy treatments. In December 2016, Stone was diagnosed with another brain tumor, and passed away on February 6, 2017.
Lucado maintains that Stone’s legacy will live on through those he influenced during his life: his family, his fellow Marines, and even those who are following in his footsteps to the geospatial field.
“It was Josh who influenced my son to [become a cartographer] for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency while he attended Old Dominion University,” said Lucado. “So it came full circle!”