by ENS Christopher Katzin
06 May 2021
USS Howard Change of Command
USS Howard Change of Command
USS Howard Change of Command
USS Howard Change of Command
USS Howard Change of Command
Photo By: CNSP
VIRIN: 210507-N-N0831-0001
SAN DIEGO, CA – Commander  Charles Harris relieved Commander  Walter Parker III as commanding officer during a socially distanced change of command ceremony aboard of the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83), May 6.
Parker, a Georgia native, has served as commanding officer since November 2019. During his command, Howard completed basic phase certification, conducted multiple CSSQT exercises testing some of the newest weapons and technologies for the Navy, and executed a Covid-19 Surge deployment.
“Team, I am so proud of what you’ve done together”, said Parker. “In the end, when the chips were down you laughed in the face of adversity and you made this ship and crew far more than the sum of its parts.”
Parker’s next duty assignment is in Washington D.C. at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Cmdr. Charles Harris most recently served as Howard’s executive officer.
“We have turned the page in 2021 and it’s an honor to stand before you today as your captain”, said Harris. “We have challenges ahead as we homeport shift to Japan and sail into the most demanding seas and waterways. We have the best trained crew with the most capable warship in 7th Fleet. A dynamic contribution that is Ready for Victory.”
Harris’s previous sea assignments include Communications Officer and Electrical Officer of USS Donald Cook (DDG-75), through a Personnel Exchange Program with the Royal Navy serving as Officer of the Watch and Navigator of HMS York and HMS Endurance, Chief Engineer of USS Dewey (DDG-105), and Operations Officer of USS Freedom (LCS-1).

Ashore, he served Placement Officer in the Surface Distribution Division of the Bureau of Naval Personnel and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Commissioned in 2001, the ship is named in honor of Marine Corp First Sergeant Jimmie E. Howard. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson for his heroic efforts in the Vietnam War.
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