¡El Capitán! - The Making of an American Naval Officer (ORDER NOW)
About the Book
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-9846371-7-1
In 1958, Frank Gamboa became the first Mexican American from Owens Valley, California, to graduate from the United States Naval Academy. His memoir’s focus is his professional development as a naval officer of the line from 1958 to 1988 in the U.S. Navy's surface warfare community. It highlights his duties, challenges and opportunities during more than 17 years of sea duty in destroyers, a cruiser, and six amphibious warships operating in the Navy's Second and Third Fleets; and in frequent and extended deployments in the Sixth and Seventh Fleets during the Cold War. ¡El Capitán! portrays the leadership, management, technical and seamanship skills required to succeed in shipboard billets ranging from division officer to commanding officer and squadron commander, in ranks from ensign to captain. It describes Gamboa’s performance as the first Mexican-American naval surface warfare officer to command a major warship as a Commander, the first to command a major warship as a Captain, and the first to command a squadron of amphibious warships as a Captain.
* * *
“This memoir presents an American success story. The son of immigrants from Mexico, Frank Gamboa had to be persistent and energetic to enter the Naval Academy at a time when it did not particularly welcome minorities. As an officer, he excelled at the essence of the naval profession: service in warships and, ultimately, command at sea. His account is fascinating and candid. He recalls both favorable and unfavorable experiences with descriptions that evoke compelling mental images. Through Gamboa’s recollections, the reader gains insight into his strengths as a leader: planning, organization, communication, and the fostering of human relationships. The most important relationship has been with his wife Linda. His career was their career, for it was truly a team effort.”
- Paul Stillwell, noted naval historian, and coauthor of Trailblazer: the U.S. Navy’s First Black Admiral