Armen Kurdian, Vista resident and retired Navy Captain has officially announced his run for the Vista City Council, District 4. His top issues are to ensure public safety, promote economic and job growth, sustain public infrastructure, and reduce homelessness. A senior systems engineer for a major defense consulting firm and a former small business owner, he lives with his wife Lindi and their son Gregory who will be attending kindergarten next fall.
“I believe in responsible government,” Armen says. “The primary functions of a local government is to make sure citizens are safe, that they have jobs, that business can flourish, and that the city can manage, sustain, and upgrade its infrastructure. I intend to make sure that all three of these vital areas are where we maintain our focus in the Council’s service to community. The privilege of managing taxpayer dollars is a solemn duty that we bestow upon our elected leaders. Someone had to earn that money which was then received by the local government; we must use those funds with the accountability and care as if we earned it ourselves.”
Public sustainment is a key aspect of his platform. “This includes not just roads, but public buildings, parks, emergency services, and even housing. Decisions cannot be made through a microscope, but they do need to be made. If we need more transient housing because we are over capacity, then that should be considered closely. If however we are not fully utilizing public facilities, then either the demand is not there, or perhaps the city has not done a good enough job in advertising those services.”
Born in Wichita, KS, he graduated from the University of Kansas and earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering and his commission as an Ensign in the US Navy. Armen attended flight school at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, FL & NAS Norfolk, VA earning his wings of gold as an E-2C Hawkeye Naval Flight Officer in March 1996. His flying career included two deployments to the Persian Gulf in 1998 and then 2005 in support of operations IRAQI FREEDOM and SEA DRAGON III. In addition, Armen also performed test flights in multiple variants of the Hawkeye, bringing multiple new modernized and vital capabilities to the Fleet. “New weapon systems take a long time to field. We have to make sure that they not only work, but they do what the warfighter needs them to do, and that we can manage and sustain them over their whole lifecycle. I will assign those same principles to the city when I am elected.”
After three years of serving at Commander Naval Air Forces in Coronado, CA, Armen became a member of the Navy’s Defense Acquisition Community moving back to NAS Patuxent River, MD helping develop, test, and deliver many new additional capabilities to the Navy including the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and new software control systems for the Navy’s growing inventory of unmanned drones.
Armen returned to San Diego to work at the Space and Naval Warfare Center managing a large portfolio of systems which provide and protect Global Positioning System-based navigation systems, and was personally hand-picked by senior Navy leadership to lead the development and execution of highly critical and vital programs necessary to meet emerging threats, and effectively managed $100M budgets. Armen then transferred to Naval Supply Systems Command, Weapon Systems Support in Philadelphia, PA where he helped solve some of the Navy’s most challenging maintenance and readiness issues, and became a recognized leader within the Department of Defense on Additive Manufacturing (3D printing). “I brought together over 100 experts from across all the military services, both uniformed and civilian, industry, and academia to put together guides and processes to take advantage of this amazing advance in technology. Everything was focused on improving quality, shortening timelines, and saving money all at the same time.” Armen subsequently retired and was honorably discharged following a 25+ year career with multiple decorations and awards, including the Legion of Merit and two Meritorious Service Medals.
Armen served as the Political Director for Melanie Burkholder, who was a candidate for the State Assembly in the 76th District in the previous election cycle, which includes Vista, as well as Encinitas, Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Camp Pendleton. A solid conservative and proven leader, his strengths include building coalitions and getting to the right solution for the benefit of all.
“Elected leaders must serve the people, not special interests,” he continues. “While that should seem obvious, when I truly understood that I wanted to serve my community just as I had served my country, and that the voters expect that their elected leaders need to serve them and not the other way around, I knew at that point that serving on the city Council was something I definitely wanted to do.”
Armen is a member of the Vista Chamber of Commerce, The Tailhook Association, The American Legion, and the Institute of Navigation. He regularly volunteers with the Veteran’s Association of North County and is also a volunteer youth soccer coach.
Armen is committed to a prosperous Vista, and he will serve the community with the same fire and energy that powered him through a very successful Naval career.
Photo via Defense Logistics Agency