The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is proud to announce that decorated navy aviator Commander Tony Chavez has joined the Council as a Navy Federal Executive Fellow. Commander Chavez is a helicopter pilot who has served in every U.S. Navy fleet throughout the globe. He is available to speak on the record about his operational command experience and comment on breaking news around national and international security. The Council is one of only 13 institutions to be selected to host a Navy Federal Executive Fellow.
“Commander Chavez is a national security and naval aviation expert whose experience, leadership, and intimate knowledge of the U.S. military’s strategic global role will add enormous value to the Council’s understanding of global security,” said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “We are honored to once again be selected as a leading global institution to host the prestigious Navy Federal Executive Fellowship.”
Chavez’s naval experience includes deployments to key regions of the world including South China Sea, Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Sea nations while supporting combat operations, strategic deterrence, counter-drug operations, counter piracy operations, diplomacy, foreign partner and nation building, and humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
“I look forward to working with Council experts, outside partners, and the media to share my perspective and expertise on global security and the U.S. military’s crucial role in today’s world,” said Commander Chavez.
Commander Chavez most recently served as the Air Operations Director under Naval Forces Europe and Africa and previously as the Commanding Officer of the Kaneohe, Hawaii based maritime strike helicopter squadron HSM-37 “Easy Riders”, which maintains and operates the MH-60R Seahawk, the Navy's most lethal anti-submarine and anti-ship strike helicopter.
Commander Chavez has accumulated more than 2,400 flight hours, 850 small deck landings, on cruiser and destroyer ships, and 270 combat hours over 70 combat missions – including Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Air Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Award. Commander Chavez joined the Navy in 1990 initially as a Sailor in the nuclear power submarine force, and was later commissioned as an officer and received his naval flight training at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, eventually becoming a highly regarded naval flight instructor and Commanding Officer.
The U.S. Navy Federal Executive Fellowship aims to cultivate naval strategists by placing them with world-class policy and research institutions. It encourages fellows to "think big" and allows them to exercise intellectual freedom in diverse research areas to improve their interdisciplinary understanding of the global security landscape.
Commander Chavez will continue in a role started by the Council’s first ever Navy Federal Executive Fellow, Commander Thomas Bodine, providing an experienced and unique perspective on national security and military affairs to advance the Council’s expertise and mission of promoting global engagement.