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Juan M. Garcia III
17th Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
Incumbent
Assumed office
September 16, 2009
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Anita K. Blair
Member of the Texas House of Representatives for the 32nd District

In office
2007–2009
Preceded by Eugene Seaman
Succeeded by Todd Ames Hunter
Personal details
Born May 27, 1966(1966-05-27) (age 54)
St. Louis, Missouri
Spouse(s) Denise Giraldez
Alma mater Harvard University
University of California, Los Angeles
California State University, Fullerton
Military service
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1992-Present
Rank Commander
Unit Navy Reserve
(2005-Present)
Awards Joint Service Commendation Medal
Navy Commendation Medal
Navy Achievement Medal

Juan Manuel Garcia III (born May 27, 1966)[1] was a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing the 32nd District from 2007 until 2009, and is the current United States Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

Early years, 1966–1992[edit | edit source]

Juan M. Garcia III was born on May 27, 1966 in St Louis, Missouri. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1988 and then attended the joint J.D. / Master of Arts program at Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, graduating in 1992.

Military service, 1992-2004[edit | edit source]

Upon graduation, Garcia reported for Aviation Officer Candidate School and was subsequently trained as a United States Naval Aviator at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas. His first posting was in Patrol Squadron 47, based out of Naval Air Station Barbers Point in Hawaii. He later served missions in the Persian Gulf (including on one occasion making an emergency landing in a sandstorm) and the Western Pacific Ocean. During the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, he initially served in London as flag aide-de-camp to the Deputy Commander of United States Naval Forces Europe, and then deployed as part of Operation Allied Force. He also served in supporting the enforcement of the no-fly zone in Iraq aboard the USS Constellation (CV-64). His military awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.

Garcia spent 1999-2000 as one of sixteen White House Fellows, during which time he served as a Special Assistant to United States Secretary of Education Richard Riley.

Following his year at the White House, Garcia returned to the United States Navy, serving as Officer of the Deck on board the USS Constellation (CV-64). The next year, he returned to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi as a flight instructor with Training Squadron 27.

Post-military, 2004–2006[edit | edit source]

Garcia left active service in 2004, although he retained a position in the United States Navy Reserve as the Commanding Officer of Reserve Training Squadron 28 at Corpus Christi, Texas. At this time, he joined the Corpus Christi law firm of Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer, and Kern[2] as an associate attorney.

Member of the Texas House of Representatives, 2007–2009[edit | edit source]

In 2006, he ran on the Democratic ticket for the Texas House of Representatives for the 32nd District. Garcia defeated 5-term incumbent Eugene Seaman with just 48% of the total vote. A third candidate, Lenard Nelson, won 6% as a Libertarian. During the campaign, Seaman had mailed out many circulars criticizing Garcia, as did Garcia of Seaman. A scandal involving Seaman and the homestead exemption, though, also became an issue. On the morning after the election, Seaman had led by a narrow 24 votes, as there were three precincts in San Patricio still pending counts. By 9 p.m., though, the votes, hand-counted, gave Garcia the seat.

Garcia was defeated for re-election in 2008 by Republican Todd Ames Hunter. The final tally was 50.13% for Hunter, 46.79% for Garcia and 3.06% for returning Libertarian candidate Leonard Nelson. Garcia conceded on election night.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), 2009–Present[edit | edit source]

In 2009, Garcia was nominated as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) by President of the United States Barack Obama. Garcia was confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee on August 5, 2009. His nomination proceeded to the full Senate, where he was confirmed on September 16, 2009 after having been blocked by Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback.[3]

Family[edit | edit source]

Garcia and his wife Denise, who met while classmates at Harvard Law, have four children, a daughter and three sons.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Government offices
Preceded by
William A. Navas, Jr.
Anita K. Blair (acting)
Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. (acting)
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
October 2009 – Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent


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