Love of the outdoors draws Jacques Naviaux to La Jolla and Scouting

Col. Jacques Naviaux II is a native Californian, a Marine Corps veteran, and a very active volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America. He was born in Monterey and moved frequently due to his father’s career as a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps until the family settled in Southern California, first in La Jolla and then in Palos Verdes. He was an active Boy Scout growing up in Troop 276 “The Mountain Men,” and he is an Eagle Scout.

Jacques Naviaux

He attended the University of San Diego on an NROTC scholarship and he has served in the Marine Corps for more than 25 years as a naval aviator and helicopter pilot. His career has included two tours to Iraq and command of the HMM-764, a CH-46 helicopter squadron, in combat. His awards include the Bronze Star and 11 Air Medals.

He has served as Cubmaster and Den Leader with Cub Scout Pack 4 at the La Jolla Presbyterian Church and he’s now Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 506 at the La Jolla United Methodist Church.

The Torrey Pines Boy Scout District recently recognized him with the District Award of Merit for his volunteerism. When he is not serving the Marine Corps or Scouting, he flies for Delta Air Lines, Inc. Jacques is married to the former Jeanine Marie Balsells of Tustin. The couple will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year. They have two sons, Christophe and Philippe, who are both Scouts.

What brought you to La Jolla?

My family moved to La Jolla for the first time in 1972, when my father left active duty in the Marine Corps to go to work for Hughes Aircraft. At the time, he worked on the radar and the Phoenix Missile for the F-14 Tomcat at NAS Miramar.

We lived in an old Spanish house on the north side of Kolmar Street just a couple of blocks from WindanSea that we rented from my father’s Naval Academy roommate, Capt. Richard Martin and his wife Peggy.

I attended first grade at La Jolla Elementary School. We moved to Palos Verdes before the second grade and I grew up there, but I always had great memories of La Jolla — especially riding my surf mat in the WindanSea Womp! My wife, Jeanine, attended SDSU and I attended USD, and we both fell in love with La Jolla. So, after MY first stint on active duty in the Marine Corps, Jeanine came to La Jolla in search of our dream home.

She found a little beach cottage in Bird Rock and turned it into the house of our dreams. We’ve lived in La Jolla since 1998 and plan to stay for a long time!

What might you improve in the area?

La Jolla could be a little more accepting of change and new ideas. Look at change in a positive manner!

Who or what inspires you?

I am humbled and honored to serve as the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 506 at the La Jolla United Methodist Church. The Troop will turn 50 years old in 2014 and I’m just the latest in a long line of great volunteers who have served our Troop. I am so fortune to get to work with 40 Boy Scouts who inspire me everyday!

I just watched a crew of 11- to 15-year-old Scouts backpack 37 miles and climb nine peaks, each over 10,000 feet high, in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. The Scouts worked together as a team and kept a positive attitude throughout the trek. That is inspiring!

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

My perfect dinner party would include: Lord Robert Baden-Powell (founder of Boy Scouting), President Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Edmund Hillary (first man to climb Mt. Everest), Ernest Shackleton (Antarctic explorer), Yvon Chouinard (Yosemite climbing legend and founder of Patagonia clothing), Captain Joe Foss (Marine Corps World War II Ace and Medal of Honor recipient at Guadalcanal) and David Frapwell.


What are you reading?

I recently read “To Be Brave” by Royal Robbins. Royal Robbins was one of the original Yosemite Climbers and he credits Scouting with setting him on the right path in life. Very inspiring!

What is it that you most dislike?

When a Leader lacks a moral compass.

What is your most-prized possession?

I prize my wife, my kids, my health, and the ability to travel the world.

What do you do for fun?

I love all outdoor adventures — backpacking, cycling, skiing, surfing, canoeing, swimming, climbing — you name it. Any time you have to sign a waiver, you know it is going to be fun! If I get to do it in an exotic location, even better!

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

“Nothing succeeds like perseverance!” And, of course, “Be prepared!”

What would be your dream vacation?

Backpacking in the High Sierra — the closest you can get to heaven on Earth — and traveling in Southeast Asia.

Related posts:

  1. Kathryn Stephens’ art has heart, as she works to uplift spirits
  2. Edward Dennis of La Jolla takes scholarly approach to his long career in science
  3. Rev. Randal Gardner continues his spiritual journey at St. James by-the-Sea episcopal church in La Jolla
  4. Diane Salisbury works to keep La Jolla Symphony & Chorus playing to packed houses
  5. Kristi Pieper lends her energy and style-sense to community service

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Posted by Staff on Jul 3, 2013. Filed under 10 Questions, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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