|Commander Luis Alva
A native of Chicago, CDR Alva began his military career in July 1991 after high school. He attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport RI, graduating in 1992. CDR Alva graduated from the Naval Academy and was commissioned in May 1996.
For Division Officer tours, he served as the First Lieutenant onboard USS FAHRION (FFG-22) from 1997-1998. His first deployment was part a Navy recruiting and goodwill effort inside the Great Lakes visiting cities within both the United States and Canada. His second sea duty was onboard USS CAPE ST GEORGE (CG-71) from 1998 to 2000 where he served as Auxiliaries Officer, Fire Control Officer and Assistant Weapons Officer. During the tour on CAPE ST GEORGE he completed two Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf Deployments with the DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER Carrier Strike Group where the ship was designated as the Air Defense Commander.
For Department Head tours, he served as Weapons and Combat Systems Officer onboard USS SAN JACINTO (CG-56) from 2003 to 2005. While on SAN JACINTO he participated in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM during a Mediterranean and Red Sea deployment and in the Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2004 deployment. Prior to reporting to VANDEGRIFT, he served as Executive Officer onboard USS REUBEN JAMES (FFG-57) from June 2011 to May 2013 and completed a Western Pacific Deployment. CDR Alva assumed command of USS VANDEGRIFT (FFG-48) on 31 May 2013.
CDR Alva's shore tours include instructor at Tactical Training Group Atlantic in Dam Neck VA and on the J3 staff at U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB NE, as the Operations Branch Chief for Ballistic Missile Defense.
CDR Alva's graduate education includes Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, where he received a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs. Additionally, he received his Joint Professional Military Education Phase 1 from the Naval War College via the Non-resident program.
CDR Alva's awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit and service awards.