By Sue Brink, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Capt. Mike Monreal relieved Capt. Pat Garin as Commanding Officer Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast in a change of command ceremony June 21 aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
"Today is a great day for NAVFAC Southeast as we thank Capt. Garin for his service and welcome Capt. Monreal aboard," said guest speaker Rear Adm. Darius Banaji, Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic. "Leadership is a contact sport and these two commanding officers 'bring it' every single day. Both of you are great phenomenal naval officers and I am proud to serve with you."
Rear Adm. Banaji commended Garin, the Civil Engineer Corps officers and civilians of NAVFAC Southeast for their support to the warfighter over the past two years. He noted NAVFAC Southeast's many accomplishments under Garin's leadership including leading the way on hiring initiatives while providing exceptional service to a myriad of Supported Commanders.
During the ceremony, Rear Adm. Banaji presented the Legion of Merit (Gold Star in lieu of the Third Award) to Garin for his extraordinary leadership and unsurpassed technical expertise while managing $30 billion in facilities, performing $1.7 billion of construction and executing $1.9 billion in contracts and services at 19 locations geographically dispersed across 12 states and the Caribbean while serving as commanding officer from June 2016 to June 2018.
Captain Garin thanked several people by name for their support to the Command during his tenure. He also mentioned the names Mathew, Harvey, Irma, Nate and Maria.
"During these hurricanes, every single person within this command made a difference - our military, our civilians and even our contractors, every business line and support function stepped up and made a huge difference during our recovery operations," said Garin. "Many of our public works departments (PWDs) throughout the southeast region sent volunteers to the bases that were directly affected and needed help."
"Speaking of the PWDs, the PWOs (public works officers), DPWOs (deputies) and all the folks within your organizations at the base level, are in the business of making things better for others. Truly remarkable," said Garin. "As Mike (Capt. Monreal) and I have talked over the past several days, the theme that I hope I made clear: You must support the PWDs! We must work for them. You PWD folks take a ton of heat. You deserve our support!"
"Pat, I have been extremely impressed with the utmost professionalism I have observed and I can clearly see that the command is a well-oiled machine doing great things to support our nation's war fighters," said Monreal. "I am extremely proud to be a part of this amazing team and I will do my best to lead, honor and strengthen our command. XO, keep the current instructions, policies and orders in place; steady as she goes."
Monreal was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1992 after graduation from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree. He transitioned to the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) in 1996. He received his Master's in Civil Engineering degree from his alma mater in 2001.
Monreal has served in various ascending positions of responsibility in the CEC including construction project engineer, construction / acquisition team leader, company commander, air detachment officer, public works officer, operations officer, ROICC, battalion commander, chief of staff officer and Deputy Commander for Operations. His assignments have taken him all over the world including assignments in Europe, Asia / Pacific and the continental United States.
Monreal is qualified as a Seabee Combat Warfare Officer, a Registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is a member of the Acquisition Professional Community. His most recent assignment was as Deputy Commander for Operations, NAVFAC Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.