ASAN, Guam—Rear Adm. John V. Menoni relinquished duties as commander of Joint Region Marianas to Rear Adm. Benjamin R. Nicholson during a change of command ceremony held at the Guam High School gymnasium onboard U.S. Naval Hospital Guam in Agana Heights last June 16.
Presiding officer Vice Adm. Bill R. Merz, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, on behalf of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, presented Menoni with the Defense Superior Service Medal.
The medal cited Menoni for distinguishing himself by superior performance in the position with significant responsibility as the United States senior military official in Guam, the CNMI, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau. “Your team flawlessly managed critical efforts in providing installation support to 35 Navy commands located on four geographically separate sites across 32,000 acres of land, as well as logistics to vital operational units of 3rd and 7th Fleets,” the award citation further stated.
Menoni, as the senior military official in the region, was also credited for superior military and civil affairs acumen, which ensured that the ties between the U.S. and regional allies were strengthened.
In March 2020, the first few cases of COVID-19 were reported in Guam. Together, local and military leaders made strategic decisions early on to work closely and collaboratively to find solutions and to mitigate its impact on the people of Guam and the CNMI. Menoni was recognized for standing firmly at the forefront of this fight, and working alongside Guam Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero with her team to ensure unity of effort.
Incoming JRM commander, Nicholson, who recently served as executive assistant to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. is looking forward to his new role.
After eight years in this region, Menoni said he regards the Mariana Islands as his second home. He has been assigned commander of Expeditionary Strike Group Two in Virginia. (PR)