Francis W. Lacroix '67 (bio)

 Francis W. Lacroix - Rear Admiral United States Navy (retired)                                                                   

Frank LaCroix imageFrancis. W. Lacroix was a 1963 magna cum laude graduate of Assumption Preparatory school in Worcester. Mass.  He then entered the NROTC program at the Ohio State University where he studied physics and French while working in the elementary particle physics laboratory in support of early Standard model development efforts. While in college he also taught high school Mathematics and Physics to enable soldiers returning from Vietnam to obtain their GEDs.  At graduation in 1967 with a degree in physics, he was designated as a French linguist by the U.S. Navy. He immediately entered the Navy’s nuclear propulsion training program where he completed his professional studies in nuclear engineering.

He served in the Navy for thirty-five years and in the nuclear submarine service for over 20 years during which he served on several nuclear submarines.  In additon to making many undersea deployments, he supervised the refueling and construction of nuclear submarines and was a member of the nuclear propulsion examining board (NPEB) which was responsible for monitoring the nation’s nuclear Navy for safe operation.  He eventually commanded the nuclear attack submarines USS Jacksonville and USS Dallas, then a squadron of seven nuclear attack submarines during which time he also led submarine tactical development for the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.

While in the Navy, he was awarded a fellowship to study Defense economics at the RAND Corporation, a think tank in Santa Monica, California, after which he served as head of the Navy’s Program Development branch in Washington, D.C. 

In 1991, he was promoted to Rear Admiral. He then attended the J.F.K. School of Government at Harvard University as a Senior National Security Fellow.  

As an admiral, he first served as the Director of the Department of the Navy’s multi-billion dollar Navy and Marine Corps Manpower and Operations budgets. Next, he was assigned to the Joint Staff as Deputy Director for Force Structure and Resources   (J-8). Here he advised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on joint acquisition and budget matters and was the Chairman’s representative during Department of Defense program deliberations.  

In the Joint Staff (J-8 ), the Directorate for  Force structure, Resources and Assessments, he led several major defense reviews including those affecting the reduction/reorganization of U.S. military forces after the Cold War and the post-Desert Storm review of national and combat intelligence needs and capabilities. In 1993, he was promoted to Rear Admiral (upper half) and advanced to be the Director (J-8) where he became the principal budget and military acquisition advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was also responsible for the Joint military requirements oversight (JROC) and assessment process.  

While on active duty he received many individual and unit awards including the Legion of Merit (4), the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2), and the Navy and Defense expeditionary medals, the Battle efficiency “E”, the Navy and Meritorious Unit commendations and several others.  He retired on January 1, 2002.    
Following retirement from the Navy, he first became Executive Vice-President and Director of Studies and Analysis for the Engineering Division of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in McLean, Virginia.  He then spent several years as a Senior National Security Policy analyst at RAND Corporation. He is a lifetime member of the Ohio State Alumni Association and was the 2010 Ohio State NROTC Alumni Honoree; he is also a member of the Naval Institute and the Naval War College Foundation.       
He and his wife Maryellen now live between Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Punta Gorda, Florida. They have two grown children Kristen (Lacroix) Harnisch and Katherine Lacroix. Their son Matthew, a Navy reserve commander and submariner, died while recalled to active service with the European Command during the Global War on Terror.

Updated October, 2015