Juan M. Garcia, III was confirmed as the assistant secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) on Sept. 16, 2009. In this capacity, he acts on matters pertaining to manpower and personnel policy within the Department of the Navy including issues affecting active duty and Reserve Sailors, Marines, and Department of the Navy civilians.
Garcia is an attorney, a former Texas state representative, and a second-generation naval aviator. Garcia, whose family hails from South Texas, was born May 27, 1966. He graduated from UCLA in 1988, and gave the student commencement speech. Garcia earned a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Master of Arts from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1992. After graduation, Garcia reported to Aviation Officer Candidate School and flight training, earning his "Wings of Gold" at Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas.
Garcia served in Patrol Squadron 47 out of NAS Barber's Point, Hawaii, and completed deployments to the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific. Garcia also served overseas as flag aide to the deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe in London, deploying as part of Operation Allied Force during hostilities in Kosovo. From 1999 to 2000, Garcia was selected to be a White House fellow, serving as a special assistant to the Secretary of Education. Garcia then reported for sea duty aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CV 64), qualifying as officer of the deck (underway). In 2002, Garcia returned to the air as a flight instructor with Training Squadron 27 at NAS Corpus Christi.
Garcia left active duty in 2004, and transferred to the Navy Reserve. He served as the commanding officer of Reserve Training Squadron 28 at Corpus Christi until becoming Assistant Secretary of the Navy (M&RA) in October 2009.
Garcia practiced law with a Corpus Christi firm beginning in 2004. In 2006, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, and represented the 32nd District from 2007 to 2009, serving on the Defense and Veteran's Affairs Committee. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.