Naval Submarine School held a change of command ceremony July 19, at Naval Submarine Base New London.
During the ceremony Capt. Andrew Jarrett relieved Capt. David Roberts as commanding officer.
Rear Adm. David Johnson, Program Executive Officer for Submarines, presented Roberts with the Legion of Merit medal for the work he’d done leading the school charged with training the Navy’s undersea specialists.
“What do you say when turning over the best major command in the submarine force? What do you say to the hundreds of people who make this small university function at such a high level every day or to the thousands of students who walk its campus every day,” said Roberts. “Naval Submarine School is unlike any place I’ve ever served and I’m a better naval officer and a better person because of this experience.”
Roberts took command of Naval Submarine School August of 2011 and will assume command of the Submarine Learning Center in August.
Speaking to an audience overflowing with family, friends and shipmates, Roberts thanked them for their support, while telling how during his tenure at the school he grew personally and professionally
“The complexity of submarining, and the high operational demand for submarines to conduct missions around the world, requires the highest quality Sailors the Navy has to offer,” he said. “If we aren’t making the next generation better, we are failing the fleet. We take this very seriously at Naval Submarine School.”
Jarrett’s previous assignment was as deputy commandant of Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Following nuclear power and submarine training, he reported to USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN 617) where he qualified in submarines and as a nuclear engineering officer.
He has also served aboard USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730), completing two strategic patrols. While assigned to USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN 708) he was the navigation/operations officer and completed two North Atlantic deployments and a Mediterranean deployment, followed by a tour as as commanding officer of USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720).
“Capt. Roberts instituted fundamental changes to initial accession training, dramatically improving the quality of Sailors and officers delivered to the fleet. His direct involvement in preparing 21 submarine crews from four squadrons to conduct submarine operations worldwide resulted in improved performance and contributed to the success of missions vital to national security,” Jarrett said. “I’m humbled by all the Sub School commanding officers who have gone before me. These men knew the vital importance of a strong training program for submariners and their legacy of superior teaching and learning continues today as the foundation of our submarines’ operational success.”
Jarrett concluded his remarks by saying that the training center has the best staff in the Navy and he is excited to lead them.
“To my new team, I look forward to serving as your captain and promise to give you and the school my best effort. I ask only that you continue giving your best as we teach and mentor the next generation of submariners.”
Press Release, July 26, 2013