Juan Garcia worked for me as a lieutenant aboard USS Constellation. Whip smart, and an exceptionally hard worker, he was one of those kinds of officers that every senior leader hopes to have on board when the work is hard and often thankless. The kind of guy you could point, shoot and then get out of his way. He finished off his active career as an instructor pilot in Corpus Christi and served one term as a Texas legislator while a drilling reservist before losing a hard-fought campaign last fall.
His political views – although not dogmatic – were rather alternate to my own, which led to a lot of great discussions until late into the night, with wardroom formality and the customs of the service being set aside as the rest of the ship bedded down for the evening. I don’t know that I always kept up my end, but he always let me down gracefully and with self-deprecating humor. Which is not, in my experience, the kind of thing one often finds in UCLA valedictorians with Harvard law degrees.
Juan has been nominated as an Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. He’s a great choice, and I very much doubt that we’ve heard the last of him.