USS Makin Island
“Gung Ho”
CAPT Tony “TC” Chavez 
Executive Officer

CAPT Tony Chavez, a native of San Antonio, Texas, enlisted in the Navy in 1990 as a Sailor in nuclear power submarines. He was later awarded an NROTC Scholarship and commissioned as an Ensign upon graduation from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering (w/honors). At sea, his career as a Naval Aviator includes assignments with Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 43, where he made two deployments onboard USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) and USS Thach (FFG 43) in support of Counter Drug Operations and Operations Teamwork South, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom; with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 as a detachment Officer-in-Charge where he deployed onboard USS Lake Erie (CG 70) in support of Ballistic Missile Defense and Operation PRC Overwatch; and as Commanding Officer of HSM 37.  Under his leadership as Commanding Officer of HSM 37, the Easyriders, were recognized as recipients of the 2015 Battle Efficiency Award, 2015 Golden Wrench Maintenance Award, and 2015 & 2016 Aviation Safety Awards.

Ashore, he served as an instructor pilot and Quality Assurance Officer at HSM 41; as Aide-de-Camp to Commander, Middle Pacific/Navy Region Hawaii; as Joint Mission Planner in MILGRP Colombia, South America; as a Joint Planner, Joint Information Operations Warfare Center, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX; and again as an instructor pilot and Executive Officer at HSM 41 flight training squadron; as Naval Forces Europe/Africa/ C6F Air Operations Officer; he was a 2018 Federal Executive Fellow, executing international security fellowship, at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.  
He is a graduate of the Naval Post Graduate School with a Master’s in Business Administration and a graduate of Naval War College, JPME Phase I/II. He volunteered for two separate individual augmentation deployments where he deployed to two different hostile zones in support of Military Group Colombia, South America and Joint Taskforces, Afghanistan. CAPT Chavez reported to USS Makin Island (LHD 8) as Executive Officer May 2020. He has accumulated more than 2,400 flight hours. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (2 Awards), Air Medal (First Strike), Joint Commendation Medal (3 Awards), Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards), Navy Achievement Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and various campaign and sea service awards.
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