The Honorable William A. Navas Jr. - Chairman (2005-2006)

The Honorable William A. Navas Jr served as Chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board from 2005 – 2006.

William A. Navas Jr. (born December 15, 1942) is a retired United States Army Major General who served as the Director of the Army National Guard. He is also the first Puerto Rican to be named an Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

Mr. Navas was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico on December 15, 1942. His family has a long tradition of military service, including his grandfather, Colonel Antonio M. Navas, who served in both World Wars. His father, Captain William A. Navas Sr. served in World War II and had a successful career in civil engineering upon his retirement from the military.

Mr. Navas received his primary and secondary education in his hometown of Mayagüez. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. He joined the Beta-Activo Chapter of Phi Sigma Alpha fraternity, and served as chapter president from 1963 to 1964.

In addition to his degree from the University of Puerto Rico, Mr. Navas completed a Master of Science degree in Management Engineering at the University of Bridgeport. Mr. Navas completed Army qualification courses for the Engineer, Military Police, and Infantry branches. He also completed specialty courses including Jungle Warfare. He was the Distinguished Graduate of his class at the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and graduated from the Inter-American Defense College. Mr. Navas also completed the Program for Senior Managers in Government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Mr. Navas completed the ROTC program while in college, and joined the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant of Engineers. He served more than five years on active duty, primarily in West Germany. From 1968 to 1969 he served in Vietnam as Commander of Company A, 168th Engineer Battalion. In 1970 Mr. Navas joined his family's construction business, (Navas y Moreda), and became a member of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard. He advanced through a series of command and staff assignments, including command of the 125th Military Police Battalion, 1st Battalion, 296th Infantry Regiment and Combined Task Force, 193rd Infantry Brigade, attaining the rank of Colonel in 1981.

In 1981 he became a full-time member of the National Guard. After serving in several assignments at the Headquarters of the Puerto Rico National Guard, in 1987 he was selected to succeed Richard D. Dean as Deputy Director of the Army National Guard and promoted to Brigadier General.

In 1990 he was chosen for the position of Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau and promoted to Major General. Navas served as Vice Chief until 1992, when he became Executive Officer of the Reserve Forces Policy Board. From September 1994 through October 1995 Mr. Navas was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. In October, 1995 Mr. Navas was assigned as Director of the Army National Guard, and he served until May, 1998. He was succeeded by Roger C. Schultz.

From June, 1998 until retiring from the military in October, 1998 Mr. Navas was a Special Assistant in the Office of the Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

Mr. Navas was nominated on 6 June 2001 by President George W. Bush to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), and was sworn in on 17 July 2001. In this capacity, he acts on matters pertaining to manpower and personnel policy within the Department of the Navy. His purview also includes personnel readiness, quality of life and health care programs and issues affecting active duty and reserve Sailors, Marines, and Department of Navy civilians.

His military decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Air Medal, and Army Commendation Medal (three awards), and numerous state awards. In addition to an undergraduate degree in civil engineering.

Mr. Navas has served as a member of numerous organizations including the American Veterans for Puerto Rico Self Determination, Minuteman Institute for National Defense Studies and the Army Engineer Association.

Mr. Navas and his wife Wilda reside in Arlington, Virginia. They have two married children William A.,III and Gretchen, and one granddaughter.

The Honorable William A. Navas Jr.
The Honorable William A. Navas Jr.