|CAPT John M. Figuerres
CAPT Figuerres is a native of Carmel, California. In May 1985 he received his commission and Bachelor’s of Science Degree in General Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy. His initial sea tour was in USS RAMSEY (FFG 2) where he served as First Lieutenant and Machinery Division Officer. During this tour he completed a Western Pacific deployment. In August 1988 he reported to USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) as the assistant Communications Officer and later served as assistant First Lieutenant. This tour culminated in a World Cruise deployment. In December 1990 he reported to the Naval Postgraduate School to study Space Systems Engineering. In April 1994 he reported to USS HALYBURTON (FFG 40) as Operations Officer. He completed a Middle East Force deployment, during which time HALYBURTON played a key role in the rescue of survivors from the cruise ship ACHILLE LAURO. In June 1996 he reported to USS TICONDEROGA (CG 47) as Operations Officer and completed two highly successful Counter Drug deployments. While on board TICONDEROGA, CAPT Figuerres was selected as an Executive Officer (XO) Special Mission and in July 1998 he reported to USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) as Auxiliaries Officer. He also served as the CARL VINSON’s senior Tactical Action Officer (TAO). During this period he participated in Operation DESERT FOX with the CARL VINSON Battle Group which involved offensive combat operations against Iraq from December 1998 through March of 1999.
In January 2000 CAPT Figuerres was honored by being the first XO Special Mission to select for Command at Sea. In June 2000 CAPT Figuerres reported to the Navy International Programs Office in Washington, DC as the Egyptian Country Program Director. He was responsible for a Foreign Military Sales program that totaled over $2.14 Billion. He worked closely with the State Dept, Office of Secretary of Defense and was called upon numerous times to brief several Senate and House committees and Congressmen on sensitive arms sales programs.
In May 2003 CAPT Figuerres took command of the USS REUBEN JAMES (FFG 57) in Pearl Harbor Hawaii. He led REUBEN JAMES through a successful Counter Drug deployment which culminated in the intercept and rescue of 149 South American immigrants being illegally trafficked to the US. He was responsible for their care and feeding during the four day transit to Ecuador. Upon return to Pearl Harbor he supervised a five-month modernization program on REUBEN JAMES. In January 2005 CAPT Figuerres reported to the staff of the Commander Pacific Fleet. As the Current Operations officer for PACFLT he was involved in the daily running of Operations in the largest AOR in the world. This included numerous crisis response actions that ranged from natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions to civil unrest issues and rescue operations. He also served as the lead planner for both the MERCY 2006 Humanitarian Assistance (HA) deployment and the PELELIU PACIFC PARTNERSHIP HA deployment in 2007.
CAPT Figuerres’ last assignment was to the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) as the Director of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) Strategic Focus Group. This Strategic Focus Group was developed to directly advise the PACOM Commander regarding issues of USG Strategy and Policy towards the DPRK. He previously served as Chief, Northeast Asia Policy Division. In that capacity he was responsible to the PACOM Commander for executing and shaping Department of Defense policy in regards to the countries of Russia, Mongolia, China/Taiwan/Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. He has also served as the Executive Assistant to the PACOM Deputy Commander.
CAPT Figuerres’ most honored awards are the seven Sea Service Deployment Ribbons and four Battle “Excellence” Ribbons earned as part of a team of crewmembers of the previously mentioned ships. His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars and the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal.