Summer Military Change of Command Season Is In Full Swing At Military Commands Across The Liberty Coast. 

Photo By Susan Brink | Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast Commanding Officer Capt. Miguel Dieguez (right) and former commanding officer, Capt. Jorge Cuadros, cut the ceremonial cake after a Change of Command ceremony held onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville.

Spring and summer are the traditional change of command and transfer seasons in the military and across The Liberty Coast.

As you read the stories of the numerous leadership changes in the pages of Liberty Life, join us in welcoming the new leaders to the largest pro-military community in Florida and among the largest in the nation.

As well, and as those in the Navy, “Fair winds and following seas” to the outgoing commanders and thank you for leadership and service. Be well and best in your next chapter.

Recently, Susan Brink with the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command posted this account of a change of command.

Navy Captain Miguel Dieguez relieved Captain Jorge R. Cuadros as commanding officer Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast during a change of command ceremony held onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. Dieguez is the ninth commanding officer since the command was established in 2006 and is dual hatted as the Navy Region Southeast Regional Engineer.

A change of command exemplifies the formal passing of command, navy regulations and tradition. The ceremony provides a chance to celebrate past accomplishments and look toward the future.  “An orderly, unbroken chain of command is a fundamental component of our Navy history and is critical to our continued success,” said guest speaker Rear Adm. Wesley McCall, commander, Navy Region Southeast.

McCall commended Cuadros and the entire NAVFAC Southeast team for their support to the region over the past two years stating that literally everything the region does in the shore enterprise relies on NAVFAC in some manner. “Your accomplishments over the past two years is too long to delve into completely,” claimed McCall.

The official party at the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast change of command ceremony are seen salute during the national anthem.

NAVFAC Southeast completed critical military construction (MILCON) programs throughout the southeast, such as the ongoing construction of the $600+ million Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay recapitalization project and the reconfiguration of the Aviation School’s Command primary school house aboard NAS Pensacola after the horrific terrorist attack in 2019.

The team displayed innovative and cost-effective environmental management strategies which brought NAS Pensacola to win the 2022 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation and NAS Key West winning the 2022 Secretary of the Navy Natural Resources Conservation for a small installation.

Through the command’s contingency response teams, they mobilized and maintained installation operations throughout five hurricane events, tornadoes, a winter freeze and flooding in Texas. The region simply could not do their jobs without NAVFAC claimed McCall.

Rear Admiral Lore Aguayo, commander, NAVFAC Atlantic, and U.S. Fleet Forces Civil Engineer, was the presiding officer for the ceremony and presented Cuadros with a Legion of Merit medal for exceptional service. “It is a special privilege and my personal honor to participate in today’s change of command ceremony, a tradition that’s as old as Naval Service itself,” said Aguayo. “A treasured part of our heritage where the complete authority, responsibility, and accountability of command will be passed from Captain Cuadros to Captain Dieguez.”

The role of the presiding officer is to publicly recognize two exceptionally talented naval officers and to highlight the accomplishments of NAVFAC Southeast. “Captain Jorge Cuadros is a phenomenal leader, and energetic and honorable officer and role model in every sense,” said Aguayo. “He is always completely focused on his people and the success of the team. He has tremendous integrity and has had a very successful tour in command.”

Under the leadership of Cuadros, NAVFAC Southeast maintained NAVFAC’s best overall MILCON program, adopted “Early Contractor Involvement” leading NAVFAC Southeast to forge stronger partnerships with the construction industry and he guided the development of Cybersecurity Work Induction Process to include cybersecurity requirements into MILCONs and special projects.  As we reflect on the extraordinary achievements of the past two years, we must also keep an eye to the future,” said Aguayo. “Captain Miguel Dieguez is, without a doubt, the right officer to build upon NAVFAC Southeast’s accomplishments and great reputation.”

Cuadros thanked several people by name for their support to the command during his tenure from July 2020 to May 2022. He also mentioned how humbled he was for the personal recognition in receiving the Legion of Merit medal and said that he accepted the award on behalf of the command whose men and women, who over the course of the last two years, overcame any challenge to deliver the products and services that the region supported commanders needed to fulfill their missions.

“NAVFAC Southeast and the region’s character reflect the Southern values,” said Cuadros. “I’m most excited about NAVFAC’s future. Moving forward, we will further align to the Fleet by managing the delivery of projects, products and services through the lens of force development, force generation and force employment of key warfighting capabilities.”

Cuadros has led NAVFAC Southeast since July 2020. His next assignment will be chief of staff at NAVFAC Headquarters.

As Dieguez takes command of NAVFAC Southeast, he thanked Rear Admiral Aguayo and Rear Admiral McCall for the extraordinary opportunity.  “My previous tours in the Southeast have always been special for me because of the amazing people, the diversity of missions across the Region, and of course, this is where my daughter was born,” said Dieguez. “I appreciate your trust and confidence in my ability to lead this team. It is an honor and privilege to serve with you.”

Dieguez was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) after earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1997 from the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and has completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase I through the Naval War College.

Dieguez has served in various ascending positions of responsibility in the CEC including assistant company commander and material liaison officer, operations officer, instructor, construction manager, flag aide, production control officer, assistant regional engineer, facilities investment and real property management branch head, and commanding officer Naval Mobile Construction Battalion ONE THIRTY THREE. He has five deployments.

Dieguez is a Seabee Combat Warfare Officer, a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, an Acquisition Professional Member, and a certified Project Management Professional. His most recent assignment was as Public Works Officer for Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.