NEW YORK, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Louis Tallarini, president of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, announced today that Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., US Navy (ret.), former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be Grand Marshal of the 2008 Columbus Day Parade in New York City. The parade will be held on October 13 from noon until 3:00 PM on Fifth Avenue from 44th through 79th Streets and will be broadcast on NBC affiliates and by RAI Italian television. "Admiral Giambastiani has devoted his life to the service of the United States, and we are grateful and delighted that he has agreed to lead our annual celebration of Italian-American heritage and achievement," said Mr. Tallarini. "A highly decorated officer, Admiral Giambastiani's accomplishments are extensive in many fields. He commands the highest respect for his abilities and service in the areas of joint and naval strategy and operations, oversight of coordination between branches of the U.S. military and between the U.S. and NATO, submarine and anti-submarine operations and the development of new technologies." "I am very honored to serve as Grand Marshal of New York's Columbus Day Parade," said Admiral Giambastiani. "I immediately thought of my mother, my father, and all my grandparents who devoted themselves to this great country and to their children and who always had great affection for the home of their ancestors, Italy, a country that has given so much to all the people of the United States and to Western civilization." Admiral Giambastiani will join 35,000 dignitaries, entertainers, civil servants and members of the U.S. Marine Corps Band who will march in the Columbus Day Parade, the world's largest celebration of Italian-American culture and heritage. Music groups, flag dancers, marching bands and colorful floats will showcase Italian and Italian American tradition and innovation on the parade route up Fifth Avenue. About Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr. Admiral Giambastiani, a career nuclear submarine officer, served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2005 to 2007, when he retired. In his capacity as Vice Chairman, the nation's second ranking military officer, he oversaw Pentagon efforts to rewrite strategy and streamline budgeting and procurement procedures. From 2002 to 2005, he served as NATO's first Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and as Commander of the United States Joint Forces Command, where he led the modernization of affiliated NATO and U.S. forces, capabilities and doctrines and the introduction of new technologies. He also served as Senior Military Assistant to the U.S. Defense Secretary and as a Special Assistant to the CIA's Deputy Director for Intelligence. Known within the military (and by President George W. Bush) as "Admiral G.," Admiral Giambastiani served the bulk of his 37-year military career in the Navy. The four-star Admiral was involved in conventional operations and classified undersea intelligence-gathering missions, and he commanded the U.S.'s Atlantic submarine force. While in the Navy, he held the titles of Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Warfare Requirements, and Assessments and Commander, Submarine Force and Anti-submarine Forces, United States Atlantic Fleet. Admiral Giambastiani also commanded the nuclear attack submarine USS Richard B. Russell (SSN687) and Submarine NR-1, the Navy's only nuclear powered ocean engineering and deep submergence submarine. Admiral Giambastiani was awarded numerous U.S. and foreign decorations including 12 Defense and Service Distinguished Service Medals. In addition he has been awarded three honorary doctorates of engineering, science and engineering technology. However, Admiral Giambastiani is most proud of his 19 unit awards and commendations as they recognize the participation and accomplishments of the entire team. Admiral Giambastiani graduated from the United States Naval Academy with leadership distinction in 1970. Admiral Giambastiani is Chairman of Alenia North America, Inc., a subsidiary of Alenia Aeronautica and Finmeccanica, the largest Italian aerospace company. He is also a Senior Advisor to ValueOptions, Inc. the nation's largest independent behavioral health care company, and serves as a director of the Atlantic Council of the United States, Monster Worldwide, Inc. and the QinetiQ Group plc in the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a distinguished senior advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In addition, he gives his time to various non-profit organizations such as the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation. He also gives a large amount of his time advising the Department of Defense and other agencies on various matters. A native of Canastota, N.Y., Admiral and his wife, Cindy Giambastiani, have two children: Peter Giambastiani, a Naval Academy graduate and a Naval Reserve officer who is Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida; and Catherine A. McElroy, a government lawyer. They have one granddaughter, Hannah. About the Columbus Citizens Foundation The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage since 1929.
Event: Columbus Day Parade Date: October 13, 2008 Time: Noon until 3:00 PM Parade route: The parade heads up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 79th Street Press contact: Andrew Decker T 212.222.4688 F 212.222.3188 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Columbus Citizens Foundation