Rear Admiral James M. McGarrah

Retired

Rear Admiral James M. McGarrah


A native of Newport, R.I., Rear Adm. (ret) McGarrah graduated “With Distinction” from the U. S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and received his commission in 1973. He served in USS Belknap (CG-26) as Electronic Warfare Officer and Damage Control Assistant, and in USS Hoist (ARS-40) following the temporary decommissioning of Belknap. In 1976, he transferred to the Civil Engineer Corps attended Civil Engineer Corps Officer School, and reported as Public Works Officer, Naval Support Activity, Mare Island, Calif. Rear Adm. McGarrah affiliated with the Naval Reserve (NR) in 1978 in Atlanta, Ga. His assignments include Administrative Officer for RNCBC Gulfport; department head and Executive Officer tours with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 24; Manpower/Personnel Officer for the Commander, Reserve Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command; and Assistant for Training Development and DCOS for Operations for the Commander, Reserve Naval Construction Force. Rear Adm. McGarrah commanded NMCB-24 from 1989 through 1991. During his command tour, NMCB-24 was twice selected as “Best of Type” in the Reserve Naval Construction Force, performed recovery operations following Hurricane Hugo, and was recalled to active duty and deployed to the Middle East in support of the First Marine Expeditionary Force during Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Rear Adm. McGarrah served in the NR Contingency Engineering Program (NRCEP) as Branch Manager, North Africa Branch, U. S. Naval Forces, Europe, in 1992-1993, and as Branch Manager, U. S. Central Command Branch from 1993-1995. He commanded the Third Naval Construction Regiment from 1995 through 1996. In 1997 he served as Deputy Director NRCEP, and then assumed duties as Director - Contingency Planning Group, NAVFAC. Rear Adm. McGarrah served as Commander, Engineering Field Activity Atlantic and Deputy Commander, First Naval Construction Division from February 2000 to 2003. He began his final assignment as Deputy Chief of Civil Engineers and Deputy Commander for Contingency Engineering at Naval Facilities Engineering Command in October 2003. Rear Adm. McGarrah’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various campaign and service medals. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from Pepperdine University, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Georgia.


Updated: 16 July 2013