Submarine Group 7 Sailor retires with honor after 30 years of combined military service

Lt. Cmdr. Chris Guaydacan, force protection officer assigned to Commander, Submarine Group (CSG) 7, is awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Capt. Jeff Bierley, the chief of staff for CSG 7 during Guaydacan’s retirement ceremony, Sept. 30. Guaydacan retires with over 30 years of combined service to his country. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Travis Baley)
Lt. Cmdr. Chris Guaydacan, force protection officer assigned to Commander, Submarine Group (CSG) 7, is awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Capt. Jeff Bierley, the chief of staff for CSG 7 during Guaydacan’s retirement ceremony, Sept. 30. Guaydacan retires with over 30 years of combined service to his country. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Travis Baley)

Submarine Group 7 Sailor retires with honor after 30 years of combined military service

by Lt.Cmdr. Robert Reinheimer
Commander, Submarine Group Seven

YOKOSUKA, Japan - Lt. Cmdr. Christopher A. Guaydacan, force protection officer at Commander, Submarine Group 7 and native of Firebaugh, California, celebrated over 30 years of service during his retirement ceremony at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) in Yokosuka, Japan, Sept. 30, 2022.

Guaydacan’s career has spanned three decades, and two branches of the military.

He first enlisted in the Army in 1991, serving tours of duty in Fort Carson, Colorado as part of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) 229th Engineering Battalion and 2-77th HHC Artillery Tank Battalion, the 1-43 Air Defense Artillery Charlie Battery in South Korea, and the 497th Transportation Company and 2nd/75th Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant before being honorably discharged in November 2000.

Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, Guaydacan again felt the call to serve his country. He tried to rejoin the Army but was turned away; luckily, the Navy recruiter’s door was open.

In October 2001, he enlisted in the Navy and completed Master-at-Arms training.

“They say a leader is great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others,” wrote the ceremony’s guest speaker was Cmdr. (ret.) Harry Cheng. Cheng could not attend in person, but wrote a speech which was read aloud. “When Chris first joined the Navy, he started at the bottom but gradually worked his way up to the great Security Officer we now know him to be. And most importantly, he always had the capacity in his heart to lift others along the way. This is why so many of us look up to him.”

During his speech, Guaydacan recounted memories of former assignments, deployments, and fellow soldiers and Sailors who impacted his life and career.

Guaydacan’s first Navy assignment was to the Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CV 64), homeported in San Diego, California, in January 2002.

“I still remember my first encounter with a Navy Chief in my first days on [Constellation],” Guaydacan said. “The lessons I learned from him that first week have stayed with me to this very day. Thank God for the Chiefs mess!”

Guaydacan deployed with Constellation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002.

From there, his career would span multiple aircraft carriers and big deck amphibious ships, and tours spanning the globe, from Guam to Poland to multiple tours in Japan.

“The memories I have spoken of here today, have given me a great life and have given me a great career,” he said. “I have never wanted to do anything but be part of the military, and my dream has been fulfilled. I find myself, on this beautiful morning, to be the luckiest man!”

Guaydacan– with his wife, Kristen, and daughters, Jasmine, Alexandria, Abigail, and Jayda– was piped ashore one final time at the end of the ceremony. He is looking forward to taking some well-deserved time off and relaxing with his family and loved ones.

Submarine Group 7 directs forward-deployed, combat capable forces across the full spectrum of undersea warfare throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Sea.

For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 7, visit the website.

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