Impressive guests command attention at Navy League

Mary Shiel, Cmdr. Monica Frey, USN, Mary Jo Thompson and Lt. Cmdr. Adam Gunter, USN [Photo: Denise Ritchie]

United States Navy Cmdr. Monica Frey, commander of the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation in Jacksonville, and Lt. Cmdr. Adam Gunter, Branch Chief of U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command, Weapons System Support, were special guest speakers at the first of the Navy League Treasure Coast Council’s 2019-20 Speaker Series, held at the Quail Valley River Club.

“It’s a delightful day for the Navy League, to celebrate the Navy’s 244th birthday,” said council president MaryJo Thompson, adding the speakers had both served with her husband, retired Vice Adm. Al Thompson, director of Defense Logistics Agency.

Before speaking about ‘Supporting the Navy and Marine Corps Aviation from the Factory to the Flight Line,’ the two shared what had led to their fascinating careers.

Frey earned her commission in 2004 from Officers Candidate School and an MBA in 2015 from Duke University, and served three back-to-back deployments in Afghanistan where she had some unique experiences, in part thanks to her soccer, teaching and music backgrounds.

“Thank you so much for all that you do every day supporting efforts through the Navy League, both advocating through legislative affairs, which is really important on behalf of us and our families, and through youth programs and scholarships as well,” said Frey.

Gunter graduated from the University of Florida, earned his OCS commission in 2005, and in 2017 an MBA from Harvard Business School. He initially knew very little about the Navy, but after 9/11 knew that he wanted to serve and signed up.

“Aside from marrying my wife, that’s singlehandedly one of the best decisions I’ve made,” said Gunter. “The Navy’s given me so much more than I’ve given it. It’s been an incredible blessing.”

Frey said supply chain specialists provide support to keep naval aircraft flying, adding that former Secretary of Defense James Mattis issued the first of several memos in 2017 directing the DOD to “improve our readiness and decrease any gaps in capacity with the ability to serve.”

When Mattis called for tactical aircraft to be 80 percent ready to fly, they worked solidly to do so. “The good news is we did achieve it,” said Frey. “We proved that it can be done.”

MaryJo Thompson announced that the Treasure Coast Council had been awarded a 2018 Outstanding Council evaluation, based on performance and achievement of their mission: to support the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and American Flag Merchant Marines and their families; to educate about the importance of sea power for economic prosperity and national security; and to build America’s future through youth programs.

For information on upcoming Navy League events, visit


Photos by: Denise Ritchie
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