More than 150 guests assem- bled May 26 at the American
Embassy residence in Madrid,
Spain, where they were greeted by
U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom
of Spain James Costos and Mary
Ann Long, president of the Navy
League’s Madrid Council. This
annual event provides an opportunity for the American government’s
representative in Spain to recognize
the achievements of the men and
women of the country’s sea services
over the past year, according to a
report from European Region
President Nicholas L. Hayes.
Those present included senior
representatives of the Spanish military, especially the Navy and Marines; government officials; leaders
of the European and American
defense industries located in Spain;
and members of the Madrid Council. Gen John M. Paxton Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine
Corps, also was in attendance, as
was CAPT Greg Pekari, commanding officer of U.S. Naval Station
Rota, and their staffs.
The reception on the embassy
residence grounds gave the guests
an opportunity to meet each other
and exchange views with their
counterparts. For the American
visitors, it offered a chance to enjoy
some Spanish food.
Costos then took the podium to
welcome the Navy League’s guests,
on behalf of himself and the U.S.
government. He noted the strong
representation of Spanish military
and government officials at the
event, underlying the strong histori-
cal ties between the two countries.
He then turned to Paxton and
Pekari, to refer to the homeporting
of four U.S. Navy guided-missile
destroyers in Rota, with their crews
and families, and the successful
amendment to the U.S.-Spain treaty
covering the presence of the Marines
at the Morón Air Base.
It was then the turn of Paxton and
SgtMaj Ronald Green to present the
Marine of the Year award to Sgt
Nicholas Perrorazio, a rifle squad
leader with the Crisis Response
Africa, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, at
the Morón de la Frontera base.
Pekari then accepted the Sailor of
the Year award on behalf of Master
at Arms 1st Class Elizabeth Gam-
boa, who had just completed her
tour of duty at Rota and begun her
new assignment at Naval Station
Great Lakes, Ill.
Long congratulated the awardees
for their hard work and dedication to
their chosen profession on behalf of
the Madrid Council and Navy
League members around the world.
After thanking the ambassador for
making the residence available and
for his hospitality, she added that the
Madrid Council also was honoring
the Spanish Admiral of the Fleet,
Admiral Santiago Bolibar Piñeiro,
upon his retirement.
Bolibar Piñeiro was unable to be
present, due to a last-minute sched-
ule change, and the Certificate of
Appreciation was later presented to
him by Pekari.
With the ceremonies completed,
the guests continued to greet each
other and congratulate Perrorazio
on his award, including the presi-
dents of the Navy League’s Bar-
celona and Levante Councils,
Salvador Molist and Judith Lewis,
respectively, and Octavio Mun-
delay, one of the organizers of the
Rota/Andalucia Council that now
is being formed.
On July 16, former Madrid
Council President Eva García, the
Navy League National President’s
Representative in Spain, was award-
ed the Naval Merit Cross during a
pinning ceremony in San Fernando,
Cádiz. It was presented by Fleet
Admiral Bolibar Piñeiro. The cere-
mony was well represented by the
U.S. Navy, with Pekari attending
with his wife, Ebru.
García has been supporting the
Spanish and U.S. navies for more
than a decade and her contributions
have helped solidify the historical
ties between the two countries.
During her presidency of the Madrid
Council, she presided over a cere-
mony in June 2010 to unveil a Navy
League plaque and monument in
From the left, Gen John M. Paxton
Jr., assistant commandant of the
Marine Corps; Mary Ann Long, presi-
dent of the Madrid Council; and
James Costos, U.S. Ambassador to
the Kingdom of Spain; and, at the far
right, SgtMaj Ronald Green, stand
with Morón Air Base Marine of the
Year Sgt Nicholas Perrorazio during a
reception at the American Embassy
residence in Madrid May 26.
SEAPOWER / SEPTEMBER 2015 56 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG
Navy League Honors Morón
Marine, Rota Sailor of the Year
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor