A road less traveled. Ignacio T. “Iggy” Cruz was born on the Island of Guam, and as an adolescent boy, he survived the WWII Japanese occupation of his homeland. In 1949, Iggy immigrated to the United States, seeking opportunities for education and intellectual enrichment. He enrolled in Berea College in the state of Kentucky and earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Math and Physics in 1953. By 1955, he earned an additional Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky. As an employee of the Kentucky Department of Highways, Iggy was responsible for the engineering of some of the first Interstate Highways in the United States.

Family ties. In 1962, Iggy returned to his homeland and worked as a civil engineer for the Government of Guam. Thirteen years had passed since he had seen his parents, yet family remained his utmost priority. Iggy had become a college graduate; he had married; he was a father to his son Chris; and he was eagerly expecting the arrival of his second son, Eric.

A legacy of service. With the outbreak of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Iggy returned to the United States and began a career in civil service. He served in a much-needed capacity as a Disaster Control Engineer for the Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown, Virginia. Iggy served in several engineering and management positions at Yorktown and gained critical experience in industrial and explosives safety as well as environmental engineering. Iggy’s career culminated in ten years of service on the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board, where he inspected DoD and Government-owned explosives and ordnance facilities worldwide. Iggy became a world-renowned expert in lightning protection for explosives and developed many of the standards in effect today. The lightning bolt in the Cruz Associates logo is symbolic of his accomplishments.

A new mission. Iggy retired from civil service in 1994 and founded Cruz Associates to teach explosives safety principles to military and civilian ordnance professionals. His sons Chris and Eric later joined the business, and together they have grown Cruz Associates into a world-class technical services provider. Cruz Associates performs explosives loading and assembly, as well as storage and handling of military weapons. The company also continues to be the provider of choice for the Special Operations Aviation technical community.

Sadly, Iggy passed away in 2022 at the age of 92, but his storied legacy lives on through his sons and grandsons…and through the hundreds of men and women who have jointed the Cruz Associates “family.”