Several of our posts have featured the activities of the Secretary of the Navy, the highest civilian office in the Department of the Navy. Being the highest office, this role is in no way the only civilian office in the Navy, and the current SECNAV, Ray Mabus, works with several other key people who also hold civilian offices in the Navy.
Among them is Juan M. Garcia III, who serves as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).
Despite serving as a civilian official today, Garcia is no stranger to active duty. Born on May 27, 1966, he is second-generation naval aviator. He graduated from UCLA in 1988, and went on to earn a JD from Harvard Law School and an MA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1992. After earning his masters degree, he reported to Aviation Officer Candidate School at Naval Air Station (NAS), Corpus Christi, Texas, earning his “Wings of Gold.”
While on active duty, Garcia served in Patrol Squadron 47 out of NAS Barber’s Point, Hawaii, and was deployed to the Persian Gulf, Western Pacific, and Kosovo. In 1999, he was among sixteen Americans selected to serve as a White House Fellow. After serving as a special assistant to the Secretary of Education, he reported for sea duty aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation.
He also served as a flight instructor with Training Squadron 27 at NAS Corpus Christi. In 2004, he left active duty and transferred to the Navy Reserve, and served as the commanding officer of Reserve Training Squadron 28 at Corpus Christi, before being named Assistant Secretary of the Navy (M&RA) in October 2009.