June 11, 1999

United States Navy Captain

Mauricio Aparicio, III

Piped Ashore

By: Daniel Muñoz

Piping Ashore" is a historical and traditional Naval Ceremony that began in the 1700's. With the ship's Bos'n Mate manning the Bos'n pipe, to control the actions of the sailors hosting manning the lines, visiting officers were brought aboard in a basket from a small boat... "Sideboys" were assigned to assist in the hoisting and to swing the basket aboard. The more senior officers were generally more stout and normally required more "Sideboys."

Capt. Aparicio "piping ashore" with "sideboys" after 30 years of service

These days the "Piping Ashore" is reserved for both officers and enlisted men who have completed a career serving their country in the highest traditions of the Naval Service. There are no `baskets" involved in today's updated Piping Ashore" ceremony. Now the retiree passes by the "Sideboys," who salute as the Bos'n Mate Pipes him ashore... Traditionally the retiree requests permission to "go ashore" for the last time symbolizing then end of a naval career.

The retirement of Captain Mauricio Aparicio, III of the Nurse Corp U.S.N. June 4, 1999 was traditional to a certain degree. Captain Aparicio however was determined to add a few touches to the ceremony that would reflect his Hispanic traditions and culture. To the delight of his large extended family and the assembled Shipmates, at the conclusion of the "Piping Ashore" ceremony, in all its traditional trappings, the Captain was met with the stirring sounds of a Mariachi group greeting Captain Apa-ricio to his new civilian duty station... the City of San Diego!

Capt. Maureen Kowba, Nurses Corp., guest speaker.

The program started with the Invocation by Commander Barry Brimhall, Chaplain Corps, United States Navy. Captain Thomas Burkard, Medical Corps, USN delivered the opening remarks which centered on Captain Mauricio Aparicio's naval career and some of the highlights of his 30 year career. Captain Maureen Kowba, Nurses Corp remarks brought smiles to those present as she went into Captain Aparicio's tenure at the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton California where he served as the Department Head for Surgical Nursing and as Director for Nursing Services. A surprise guest speaker was the Honorable Luis Vargas, Judge of the Superior Court of the State of California who warmly welcome Mauricio to the City and County of San Diego and earnestly expressed the hope that Capt. Aparicio would `drop anchor' in San Diego permanently.

A special touch to the retirement ceremony came when local resident, retired Master Chief Petty Officer Ali Trevino read "Old Glory" during the Flag Presentation to Captain Aparicio. The passing of the flag which was flown over Headquarters 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, in memory of his heroic service during the Tet offensive in Hue City. He wears the Purple Heart for wounds that he received while serving as the "GRUNT" Corpman for the 2nd platoon of "Fox" company. The flag also was flown at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. and at the Beirut Memorial at Jacksonville, North Carolina for his actions during the bombing of the Marine Barracks by terrorist in Beriut, Lebanon with the resulting death of 221 Marines and Sailors being killed, and 165 wounded. That flag was presented to Captain Aparicio after being passed through the hands of officers and Enlisted personnel representing every rate and rank that he had achieved during his 30 years of service.

In another special touch, Captain Aparicio had contacted two of the Marines, now civilians, whose lives, he had risked his own to save. He asked them to assist him in presenting this flag to his Mother who had made the most difficult sacrifice of all... the giving up of her son to the United States Navy. It was an emotional moment for all present.

“Passing of the Flag” orated by HMCM (Ret.) Ali Trevino

Wishing Captain Maurice Aparicio upon his departure "smooth sailing and following seas" in his civilian life, the Captain left the United States Naval Service.

The Aparicio family from Texas joined in the retirement celebration.


Military Decorations

Purple Heart
Navy Commendation Medal Gold Star in lieu of 2nd award
Navy Achievement MEDAL
Combat Action Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
Navy Unit Commendation, Bronze Star in lieu of 2nd award
Good Conduct Medal
Navy Expeditionary Medal, Gold Star lieu of 2nd award
Vietnam Service Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
Navy Recruiting Ribbon
Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Citation Gallantry Medal
With Palm Device
Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Citation Civil Medal 1st Class
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

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