Feb. 10, 2007 — St. Croix native Rafael Monell will retire on Feb. 23 following 28 and a half years in the U.S. Navy. The ceremony will be held in Virginia Beach, Va.
Monell was born to Maria and Eusebio Monell on St Croix. He is the youngest of seven children and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1978.
He joined the U.S. Navy in June '78 and completed basic training in Orlando, Fla. He then served onboard the USS Eisenhower, USS Enterprise, USS Roosevelt, USS George Washington and other shore-based units.
Monell completed eight major deployments in support of Beirut, Bosnia Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Persian Gulf regional conflicts and is also a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War.
He has held positions as an assistant weapons officer, carrier airwing ordnance officer, maintenance training officer, operations officer, drug and alcohol program advisor, and other demanding billets.
Monell rose through the enlisted ranks of E-1 through E-7 and was commissioned as a chief warrant officer in 1993. He culminates a 28-year career as a chief warrant officer 4.
He has been awarded eight Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medals, three Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medals and numerous other unit and campaign awards.
Monell, who earned a degree in Applied Science in Administrative/Management Studies from Excelsior College, now resides in Virginia Beach with his wife, Gweneth A. Monell of Tortola, and daughters, Isabel and Raquel. Monell hopes to one day return home to St. Croix and serve in some capacity to give back to his homeland.
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