Our Guest Speaker 2017 – MAJ. GEN. JUAN G. AYALA USMC (RETIRED)

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Director of Military Affairs for San Antonio

Mr. Ayala retired as a Major General in the United States Marine Corps after 36 years of service. He is currently the Director, Office of Military Affairs for the City of San Antonio. He comes to the City of San Antonio with a proven record of success in leading people and commanding large, complex organizations.

Prior to his retirement, Major General Ayala commanded all 24 Marine Corps installations worldwide and was selected to lead the Department of Defense’s 2015 Warrior Games assisting the nation’s wounded, ill and injured warriors in their recuperative efforts. He is the former Inspector General of the Marine Corps, and his service includes 4 combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, to include a year as the Senior Advisor of a Military Transition Team, embedded with the 1st Iraqi Army Division.

Past assignments include:  Coordinated humanitarian assistance programs in 50 countries throughout Africa, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic’s, and the former Soviet Union, served as the Chief of Staff at United States Southern Command leading a staff in the implementation of U.S. national security objectives in 31 countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, to include coordinating detainee operations in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, led a Marine Logistics Group that supported combat operations throughout Iraq, supported humanitarian relief operations after the Haiti Earthquake of 2010, supported Haitian/Cuban refugee operations in Cuba, and coordinated civilian law enforcement counterdrug efforts along the U.S. Southwest Border.

Mr. Ayala received an MBA from Campbell University, a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso.

A native of El Paso, Texas, Major General Ayala’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with “V” Combat Distinguishing Device, the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (4 stars), and the Combat Action Ribbon. He received the 2007 Excellence in Military Service Award from the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

Mr. Ayala currently serves on the Governor of Texas’ Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs, and as a board member on the Armed Services Arts Partnership and Visit San Antonio.

An avid cyclist, runner and reader, Mr. Ayala has ridden his bicycle across the states of Texas, Tennessee, Idaho and parts of Montana, Washington and two Canadian Provinces. He has also completed 6 marathons. He is married to the former Diane K. Reyes of El Paso, Texas. They have 3 daughters, a son and two granddaughters.