Local veteran to head national military organization
Brigadier General Frederick R. Lopez, USMCR (Retired) of Santa Barbara has been elected the 90th National Commander-in-Chief of the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW). Founded in 1919, MOWW is a patriotic Veterans Service Organization (VSO) that promotes and encourages good citizenship, patriotic education and military and public service.
MOWW is also focused on youth education. Students receive instruction on leadership in a free society, free enterprise concepts, principles of democracy, the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and civic responsibilities associated with preserving American rights and freedoms. Students develop leadership, public speaking and writing skills that help them be better citizens and future leaders.
Before his election, Brig. Gen. Lopez served 31 years in the U.S. Marine Corps on both active duty and in the Marine Corps Reserve. His assignments included Vietnam (1968-1969), serving as a Rifle Platoon Commander and a Sniper Platoon Commander. In the Reserve, he served as a Company Commander, ANGLICO Forward Air Controller and Naval Gunfire Officer, Regimental S-3 Operations Officer, Infantry Battalion Commander, Assistant Division Commander, Commanding General-4th Marine Division, and Deputy Commanding General-1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
Brig. Gen Lopez is a distinguished graduate of the NATO Officers Joint Warfare Course at Royal Marines, Poole England, as well as the Naval War College Strategy and Policy Course, Armed Forces War College National Security Course, Senior Reserve Components Officers Course at the U.S. Army War College and five other professional military schools.
His awards and decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal (Combat “V”), Navy Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Wings and 12 other medals, decorations and badges.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from California Polytechnic State University and a master’s degree in computer science from West Coast University. In 2007, he retired from the Raytheon Company as director of engineering, Electronic Warfare Systems, in Goleta.
A 22-year MOWW Companion, he has held command positions at chapter, department and regional levels as general staff officer, vice commander-in-chief and senior vice commander-in-chief. He is a recipient of the National MOWW Commander’s Medal, the Gold Patrick Henry Medal and other Military Order awards and decorations.
A Santa Barbara native, Brig. Gen. Lopez grew up in Santa Barbara and Lompoc. He graduated from Lompoc High School in 1963 and has lived in Goleta for the past 42 years. He is also a member of two other military volunteer organizations locally, and he is a board member of the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.
His family includes his wife of 52 years, Mrs. Anne Lopez; two daughters, Dr. Jennifer Marsh, Ph.D., of Santa Barbara and Ms. Jamie Lopez of San Mateo; and his 14-year-old grandson, Ryan Marsh. He is also the nephew of Santa Barbara High School 1950’s football star Alex Bravo, who played for the Los Angeles Rams and the Oakland Raiders.