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January 2003

New commodore for MSC Pacific
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By Larry "E" Crutchfield

Capt. Juan  L. Chavez, USN
The new commodore of Military Sealift Command Pacific, receives full military honors as he comes aboard USNS Tippecanoe. Capt. Juan L. Chavez, USN, took over from out-going commodore, Capt. Timothy V. McCully, USN. Larry "E" Crutchfield photo

Capt. Juan L. Chavez, USN, became Military Sealift Command Pacific's 41st commander Dec. 6 with a hand salute from Capt. Timothy V. McCully, USN, the outgoing commodore, which symbolically passed command of the organization at Naval Base Point Loma, Calif.

Rear Adm. John Stewart Jr., USNR, Vice Commander, MSC, and more than 150 command members, friends and family witnessed the time-honored Navy tradition of changing command during a ceremony on board USNS Tippecanoe, one of the command's fleet oilers.

Capt. Chavez is the son of Staff Sgt. Richard Collier, USAF, (ret.) and his wife, Rose. The younger Chavez enlisted in the Navy in 1968. Within nine years, he was a master chief petty officer, the highest enlisted rank, and had earned bachelor degrees in both business management and biology. He was commissioned an ensign in 1977.

Capt. Chavez has spent most of his career in engineering jobs at a variety of postings both aboard ships and at shore commands.

Capt. Chavez, who now holds the title of commodore as well as the rank of captain, has earned several personal awards including the Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (four awards), Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (two awards), various unit citations, service awards, Southeast Asia and Vietnam decorations, Middle Eastern Desert Shield and Desert Storm decorations and Battle Efficiency Awards.

Capt. Chavez and his wife have three daughters and seven grandchildren.

Capt. McCully, who commanded MSC Pacific since May 2000, heads for Australia to attend the Australian Defence College in Canberra.