Military announcement

Decorated career Army major from Taos to retire

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U.S. Army Maj. Paul M. Garcia, a Taos native, will retire on Sept. 1, after 24 years and nine months of total military service. Garcia entered active duty in 1994, as a private, 63Y Tracked Vehicle Mechanic. In 2005, Garcia was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Armor Branch upon completion of officer candidate school. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University.

Garcia's operational experience includes two 15-month tours of duty in Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF 01-03 and OIF 06-08), a 10-month tour of duty in Kandahar City, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF 11-12) and a nine-month deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

He is currently assigned as the 650th Contracting Team leader and deputy commander for the 374th Contracting Squadron (Air Force) at Yokota Air Base, Japan. As a warranted government contracting officer, Garcia led contracting efforts on three Indo-Pacific Command joint bilateral training exercises in Indonesia (Garuda Shield 17, Gema Bhakti 17 and 18) and the Kingdom of Thailand (Cobra Gold 2018).

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2nd Award), the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (7th Award), the Army Achievement Medal (4th Award), the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Citation (2nd Award), the Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), the National Defense Service Award (2nd Award), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 Campaign Stars), the Iraq Campaign Medal (4 Campaign Stars), the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NCO professional Development Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (5th Award), the NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Driver/Mechanic Badge. Garcia is also a recipient of the prestigious Order of Saint George bronze medallion.

Garcia and his wife, Victoria (Romo), are both Taos High School graduates. They have three daughters, Gabriella (20), Isabella (16) and Daniella (14). Garcia is the son of the late Ellis and Trina Garcia from El Prado, New Mexico.

- Submitted report

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