USS Decatur Holds Change of Command

by Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
01 May 2020
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VIRIN: 210104-N-N0831-0012
SAN DIEGO (NNS) – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) held a change of command ceremony Apr. 30. Due to the ship being in maintenance, the ceremony was held on the ship’s berthing barge rooftop.

Cmdr. Jeremiah D. Jackson turned over the role of commanding officer to Cmdr. Derek A. Rader.

In consideration to the safety and health of the 325-member crew due to COVID-19, attendees were limited to the command triad, department heads, department leading chief petty officers, Destroyer Squadron 21 representative Cmdr. Michael Sledge, and Capt. Joel Stewart, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and training for Expeditionary Strike Group Three. All ceremony attendees observed proper social distancing protocols.

"Being in command is the greatest job you’ll ever have," said Jackson. "The hardest part is giving it up. I was lucky to lead the best crew in the fleet, and I can say that based on my experiences. I wish I could’ve led the ship out of the dry dock. "

Jackson, who temporarily assumed command in January, will return back to his previous role as Carrier Strike Group 3 Surface Operations Officer.

Rader, who was the ship's executive officer, left the ship earlier this year to attend prospective commanding officer (PCO) school. At the ceremony, Capt. Stewart pinned the Command at Sea pin on Rader.

"I’m eager to be the captain and carry on the Decatur namesake," said Rader. In his remarks, he thanked his late mother, father, and wife. Rader also spoke about serving under Jackson's leadership.

"I couldn’t have taken over from a better captain," said Rader. "There’s no question why you were selected to lead your second guided missile destroyer."

Decatur returned to San Diego April 1, 2019, following a deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet Areas of Operations and executed a surge deployment the same year.

For more information on USS Decatur please visit: http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor.ddg73/Pages/default.aspx
 
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