JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – Captain James G. Meyer, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Capt. Marc C. Delao, CEC, and took command of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii on Aug.7, at a short ceremony held on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Due to social distancing precautions, the ceremony was limited to the official party only.
An outstanding strategic thinker with superior leadership and innovative expertise, Delao departs his final job with the Navy as Commanding Officer NAVFAC Hawaii after successfully leading a diverse workforce comprised of 1,450 military and civilian personnel through challenging changes from 2018 - 2020.
“Captain Delao did more in a few years than most in a few decades,” said Capt. Alexander Hutchison, previous Executive Officer NAVFAC Hawaii. “He deeply cared about our team and worked tirelessly to improve things for NAVFAC, Navy Region Hawaii and our entire Ohana!”
During his tour, Delao executed an operating budget of over $3 billion in facilities engineering and environmental services supporting Navy Region Hawaii, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Department of Defense agencies throughout the Region. He led NAVFAC Hawaii through a monumental financial transformation with the closing of NAVFAC’s Navy Working Capital Fund (NWCF) business model and the conversion to a 100% General Fund business model. This change was historic given the NWCF model was in place for 70+ years and the catalyst for a “corporate culture change” in financial and operational business processes. Delao’s foresight prepared NAVFAC Hawaii for greater fiscal responsibility, accountability, and auditability in managing NAVFAC Hawaii’s General Fund budget that increased from roughly $50 million to $150 million.
“Captain Delao is a tremendous servant-leader who guided us through a challenging period of change and unexpected risks,” said Capt. Randall Harmeyer, Public Works Officer, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. “He never let us lose sight of the reason for our command: service and support to the joint U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force warfighting mission.”
His numerous accomplishments include high-visibility issues that garnered intense public and political interest from the State of Hawaii all the way to senior leadership in Washington D.C. Delao distinguished himself through exceptional dedication and non-stop energy, strengthening the NAVFAC Hawaii and Region team. His laser-focus attention on mission readiness and enabling overwhelming warfighter lethality resulted in numerous noteworthy accomplishments and phenomenal contributions that earned him the Legion of Merit Medal (Gold Star in lieu of the Fourth Award).
The Legion of Merit citation reads “For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as Commanding Officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii and Regional Engineer, Navy Region Hawaii from July 2018 through July 2020.
“Captain Delao brilliantly led 1,450 personnel to deliver $3 billion in facilities engineering and environmental services, enabling overwhelming Fleet and Marine Corps lethality for Navy Region Hawaii, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Department of Defense agencies across the region. He masterfully led the planning, development, and submission of the Red Hill tank upgrade alternatives and release detection decision document to top U.S. Navy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and State of Hawaii Department of Health officials, allowing the continued operation of this critical strategic asset. Additionally, he orchestrated innovative real estate initiatives for privately financed development of underutilized land supporting transit-oriented development and a 100-megawatt power generation site. His superb leadership and business acumen drove advancements in critical Fleet programs laying the groundwork and vision for the next two decades. Delao's superior performance of duties highlights the culmination of 29 years of honorable and dedicated service. By his dynamic direction, keen judgment, and loyal dedication to duty, Captain Delao reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
“Captain Delao has succeeded brilliantly in leading NAVFAC Hawaii while in command over these past few years,” RDML John Adametz, commander NAVFAC Pacific. “I’ve never worked with someone who has the unending energy, motivation, and positive outlook that Marc always has! He is a leader of leaders, a mentor to many, and a friend to all. Such a tremendous finish to a 29-year naval career, and we all wish him fair winds and following seas as he departs the island! I look forward to Capt. Gordie Meyer taking the helm as he comes back to the NAVFAC Hawaii Ohana after almost 20 years; another outstanding leader in the Civil Engineer Corps!”
Delao started his dynamic Naval career as a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1991, earning a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering. He spent time as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard the USS Aquila (PHM 4) and USS John Hancock (DD 981). In 1996, Delao transferred to the Civil Engineer Corps and completed training at the Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS). His subsequent tours include: Assistant Resident Officer in Charge of Construction, Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island (1996–1999); Public Works Officer and Officer in Charge of Construction, Naval Support Activity, Souda Bay, Greece (1999–2001); Assistant Production Officer, Navy Public Works Center, San Diego, California (2002–2004); Instructor and Facilities Acquisition and Management Division Director CECOS, Port Hueneme, California (2004–2006), Executive Officer, Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, San Diego, California (2006–2008); Shore Readiness Head, Assessment Division, Chief of Naval Operations (N81), Washington D.C. (2008–2010); Commanding Officer, Officer in Charge of Construction, Marine Corps Installations East, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (2010–2012); Materiel Officer, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), Virginia Beach, Virginia (2012–2014); Commanding Officer, Amphibious Construction Battalion 2, Virginia Beach, Virginia (2014–2016); Chief of Staff, NECC Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (2016–2018) and Commanding Officer NAVFAC Hawaii (2018–2020).
Delao holds a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and completed the Wharton School of Business Executive Development Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Delao is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of New Mexico and a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps. He is a Surface Warfare Officer, Basic Parachutist and Seabee Combat Warfare Officer qualified. He also earned a Master Training Specialist (MTS) certification and Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Instructor of the Year honors in 2005.
As Delao moves onto a new chapter of life in Virginia, shedding his uniform for a suit; his inspirational leadership will live on within all who were part of his Navy family, military and civilians alike. His personal example of Servant Leadership will be remembered by those he taught, mentored, and inspired to always set high standards and continuously strive to meet customer expectations.
NAVFAC Hawaii is the Navy’s single touch-point for all facilities engineering products and services in Hawaii. It delivers and maintains quality, sustainable facilities through contracting, engineering, environmental, planning, and public works services to Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Department of Defense supported commands and other federal agency customers in the state.
Meyer is a native of Glenwood City, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Naval Science, and obtained his commission through the NROTC program as a Secretary of the Navy Distinguished Graduate. He has also earned a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, a Master’s in Business Administration from City University and is a Graduate of the Wharton Executive Development Program. Meyer is a registered professional engineer in the state of California, a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, and a qualified Seabee Combat Warfare Officer. Prior to NAVFAC Hawaii, Meyer was the Director, Force Maritime Headquarters at Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Little Creek, Virginia.