About the Author
Captain John Frank Gamboa was born in Cartago, California on August 12, 1933, the third of seven first-generation American siblings whose parents were born in Mexico. He grew up in Owens Valley in the villages of Cartago and Bartlett and the town of Lone Pine, California. In March 1954, he received a principal appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. In April 1954, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and completed basic infantry training in June 1954. He entered the Academy on July 12, 1954, graduated on 4 June 1958, and was commissioned an Ensign in the Line. He is among the first 20 Mexican Americans to graduate from the Naval Academy.
Captain Gamboa is the first Mexican American Naval Surface Warfare Officer in the history of the United States Navy to command a major warship in the rank of Commander, the first to command a major warship in the rank of Captain, and the first to command a squadron of warships. He is also the first to command a U.S. Naval Communications Station.
In August 1984, he reported to the Pentagon for duty in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Director, Military Equal Opportunity and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity from April 1985 until July 1987. He then reported to Commander, Naval Telecommunications Command in Washington, D.C., for duty as Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans. He retired as a Captain on 30 April 1988 in Washington, D.C., having served as a Surface Warfare Officer for 30 years.
Captain Gamboa was certified as expert in two Surface Warfare sub-specialties: Politico-Military Affairs and Command, Control and Communications. His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), and the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Navy Commendation Medal, and several campaign, service, and unit award ribbons.
Frank was President and majority owner of Gamboa International Corporation, a management consulting company, from 1994 until 2006. He was elected Vice President of the USNA Class of 1958 in 1989 and continues to serve in that capacity.
Frank and his wife, the former Linda Marie Lehtio, reside in Fairfax, Virginia. Their son, John Frank “Jack” Gamboa, Junior, and his daughter Emma live in Portland, Oregon. Their daughter Judith Ann Callsen and her husband Gary and her daughter Loren reside in Middleburg, Virginia.