|LCDR Francisco X. Garza
Lieutenant Commander Garza, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, enlisted in the Navy in May 1995 and upon completion of Recruit Training at Great Lakes, IL., he attended Storekeeper “A” School in Meridian, MS.
While enlisted, LCDR Garza served aboard USS CUSHING (DD 985) and USS BUNKER HILL (CG 52) as well as overseas at NCTAMS EURCENT ROTA SPAIN. He reached the rank of SK1 and was selected for the STA-21 commissioning program.
LCDR Garza earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History (Magna Cum Laude) from The University of Arizona. Upon his commission, he spent the 2004 summer as an exchange Officer aboard the Mexican training tall ship CUAUHTEMOC before reporting to USS BENFOLD (DDG 65), where he served as Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer, Gunnery and Ordnance Officer. LCDR Garza Fleeted-up to serve as Fire Control Officer and Ballistic Missile Defense Officer on BENFOLD, completing two deployments to the FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleet AOR. BENFOLD earned multiple Battle Efficiency Awards, the ASW Bloodhound Award, and the Arizona Memorial Trophy.
Upon completing his Division Officer Tours, LCDR Garza volunteered for a GWOT Support Assignment and worked for a Joint Task Force in Iraq. After returning from Iraq, he reported to ATG San Diego as a Training Liaison Officer. While at ATG, LCDR Garza utilized the 18/12 GEV program and earned a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of San Diego. He also a served as a Congressional Intern at the District Office of a California Congresswoman.
Following shore duty and Department Head training, LCDR Garza reported to USS WAYNE E. MEYER (DDG 108) as Engineer Officer. As Engineer Officer, Safety Officer, Ship Maintenance Management Officer, and Senior Watch Officer, LCDR Garza led WAYNE E. MEYER through the Inter-deployment Training Cycle to include, TYCOM Mid-Cycle Inspection, 3M Certification, Safety and Industrial Hygiene Surveys, and ID CERTEX. WAYNE E. MEYER earned the 2013 Battle Efficiency Award. During this tour, LCDR Garza was selected for Early Command and was slated to USS GLADIATOR (MCM 11).
His personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award, the Junior Officer Award for Excellence in Tactics and various unit and campaign ribbons.