The officers and crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) held a change of command ceremony on the ship’s flight deck, while in port, May 11.
During the ceremony, Cmdr. Michelle Nakamura assumed command of Nitze from Cmdr. John L. Bub, Jr., marking the end of three years of command for Bub.
“I thank you – the crew of Nitze, for all that you’ve done to make Nitze better. I’m very proud to have been a part of Nitze for the past three years,” said Bub. This crew demonstrates that each day sacrifice and hard work is the cornerstone required to run a warship destined to operate in harm’s way.”
Before officially turning over his duties, Bub assured the crew of his confidence in Nakamura as their new leader.
“My time to lead is over, and I couldn’t imagine passing command onto a more qualified person than Cmdr. Nakamura,” Bub said. “She will lead you to new heights, and I’m confident Nitze will excel under her command.”
Nakamura, who previously served as the ship’s executive officer, opened her speech wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers standing in the audience. She also spoke of her humble beginnings that have shaped her as a leader.
“I am incredibly proud, somewhat amazed and really humbled to be here in this position,” Nakamura said. “I spent the first several years of my life living in a trailer park outside of Detroit. So, the fact that I’m standing here right now makes me feel very blessed and thankful.”
Nakamura also thanked her family, ship department heads, the command master chief, and the Chief’s mess for their support.
“Lastly and most importantly, I’d like to thank all of you,” Nakamura said. “Everyday, I learn something new from you. Everyday, I watch you do your jobs even the messy and difficult jobs. I am filled with pride to be here and to be in the U.S. Navy and to serve with you.”
Nitze, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is on a scheduled deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other partners in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.
Press Release, May 14, 2014; Image: US Navy