Jim Maguire '88
I was born in San Francisco to the daughter of the City’s police chief and Petty Officer First Class John Maguire. Coming from a family that included Navy, Army and law enforcement personnel, it’s not surprising that I was instilled with a sense of duty to community – I wanted to give back something to the neighbors, city and country that gave my family so many opportunities. At the age of thirteen, I told my dad I wanted to be a naval officer, but also wanted to go to college. My dad replied, “Well, did you know the Navy runs a college? It’s called the Naval Academy.” That was the last time he mentioned it. He wanted it to be my decision if and when I chose a life of military service.
Now, I knew I was gay in high school, but I wanted a naval career with every fiber of my being. A varsity swimmer and waterpolo player attending a Jesuit highschool in San Jose, California, I was not out to anyone and no one knew. Call it bravado or naiveté; I thought I could pull it off – being gay and having a naval career – planning my career through my first star. That dream and desire to give back to my family and country motivated me through the challenges of Plebe Year and beyond.
After graduation, I attended SWO school in San Diego. Much to my surprise, I discovered that my Dad was a plank owner of my first ship USS GOLDSBOROUGH (DDG 20), stationed out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. My dad was an IC1 on “Goldy” and twenty years later, his son went onboard as an ensign. It was a great day in the Maguire family.
After two years on GOLDSBOROUGH, I realized that I could no longer keep living a double life. On a ship with a wardroom of 12, there were not a lot of opportunities to hide where you were all weekend. I don’t recommend it, but in the days before DADT, I felt it was necessary. I resigned my commission in 1992 after two more successful years on staff at NAVSTA PEARL HARBOR. I’m certain both my CO and XO knew I was gay, and that it was the reason I was resigning. Both asked me multiple times to reconsider my decision as “there is no problem you have, Lieutenant, which can not be overcome.” I did resign and I was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal after separation.
I am currently living in Hillsboro, Oregon, with Josh, my wonderful partner of 20 years whom I finally legally married on our 19th anniversary in 2013. I could no longer serve my neighbors on active duty, but I realized that service and commitment to society manifests in many ways. Since moving to the great state of Oregon, I have been active in my community serving on the boards of two homeowners associations and one neighborhood association. I also served on the City of Beaverton’s Human Rights Advisory Commission for four years, Chairing it for three. While on the Commission I sponsored and wrote the first draft of the City’s Civil Rights Ordinance. Once we moved to Hillsboro and realized that city did not have a similar ordinance, I worked with neighbors and friends, and the City Council unanimously passed a similar ordinance that included sexual orientation and gender identity. I was a founding member of the Human Rights Council of Washington County and have testified multiple times to committees of the Oregon State Senate and State Assembly in favor of non-discrimination and domestic partners legislation. Currently, I serve on the City of Hillsboro's Planning Commission and am the Sales Manager for a winery.
Please feel free to contact Jim here at USNA Out.