USS O'Kane (DDG 77) Change of Command

11 December 2020
USS O'Kane Change of Command
USS O'Kane Change of Command
USS O'Kane Change of Command
USS O'Kane Change of Command
USS O'Kane Change of Command
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VIRIN: 210208-N-N0831-0004
Commander Michelle R. Fontenot, native of the Philippines, relieved Commander Adam J. Walker, native of Dallas, TX, as the commanding officer of USS O’KANE (DDG 77) during a change of command ceremony on 11 December 2020.
A time-honored tradition, the ceremony was held on the ship’s flight deck with Rear Admiral Kott as the presiding officer.
"We all stand on the shoulders of our mentors and past leaders" said CDR Walker. “I would not be here today if not for the sage leadership of my previous department heads and COs”.
CDR Walker looked back on his time onboard O’KANE and reflected on the hard work and dedication of her crew.
"Success is never guaranteed, and is never given - it is earned – and you have earned it every day," said CDR Walker. "No matter what obstacle you have faced, you have prevailed."
CDR Walker previously served as the Executive officer aboard USS O’KANE. His earlier tours also include his services as Combat System Officer for Destroyer Squadron One and Operations Officer aboard USS CHAFEE (DDG 90). CDR Walker graduated from the U. S. Naval War College with highest distinction, and his educational résumé includes a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies, a Master of Fine Arts in Human Relations, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.
CDR Walker’s leadership and professionalism while in command afforded him the recognition by the Meritorious Service Award.
CDR Walker concluded his remarks by reflecting on a famous proverb.
"Just as iron sharpens iron, so to one man sharpens another. It is my sincere hope that I have sharpened you because you have certainly sharpened me,” said CDR Walker. “You are our nation’s best and brightest, and I want you to continue on your deployment with a tradition of honor.”
CDR Fontenot takes command as the ship transitions from its basic phase to the advanced phase as USS O’KANE prepares for deployment.
"I believe that some of the most hard work and dedicated sailors in the United States Navy are proudly serving onboard O’KANE. Time and again you have demonstrated our ship’s namesake, Admiral Richard O’KANE, with tenacity, resiliency and dedication to persevere and deliver wins in spite of the obstacles allow O’KANE to continue her storied legacy,” said CDR Fontenot. “I look forward to continuing O’KANE’s tradition of honor with you. Let’s get to work.”
CDR Fontenot received her commission in 2002 from Florida State University. CDR Fontenot’s most recent assignment was the Executive Officer on USS O’KANE from May of 2019 to October of 2020. CDR Fontenot was also the Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer on USS DECATUR (DDG73), Damage Control Assistant on USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6), and Chief Engineer on USS STERETT (DDG 104).
 
 
 
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