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UNITED STATES NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, SAN DIEGO, CA. (circa 1960) | CLICK TO ENLARGE

UNITED  STATES  NAVAL  TRAINING  CENTER 
 SAN  DIEGO,  CALIFORNIA  ( circa 1960 )

UNITED STATES NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, SAN DIEGO, CA. (circa 1960) | CLICK TO ENLARGE

UNITED  STATES  NAVAL  TRAINING  CENTER 
 SAN  DIEGO,  CALIFORNIA  ( circa 1960 )

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U.S.  NAVY  HOSPITAL  SHIP  HAVEN AH-12
( circa  1952 )


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EVENT
September 23, 2011



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The Change-of-Command Tradition

The ceremonies, customs and traditions of our modern Navy draw their origin from ancient customs and laws of the sea adopted by seafaring men that gradually merged into the British Naval Regulations in effect at the time of the American Revolution. The effect these old customs have had in the formulation of Naval regulations is a marked example of the influence of tested usage.

John Adams compiled the first rules for Regulation of the Navy in the United States Colonies and thus set a precedent for future provisions. His guide was the instructions and regulations of the British Admiralty, themselves a product of time-honored traditions and customs. It was under the direction of these rules that the Father of the U.S. Navy, John Paul Jones, a British born subject, gave our Navy its earliest traditions of heroism and victory.  These traditions and customs have prevailed in the years since. Some have become law. The highest praise that can be paid a Sailor is that he or she lived and worked according to the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. Eternal credit is due to those who never underestimated the immeasurable value of Naval traditions, customs and ceremonies -the spiritual cement in a Naval organization.

The Change of Command Ceremony you witness today is not prescribed specifically by U.S. Navy Regulations, but rather is an honored product of the rich heritage of Naval tradition. It is a custom wholly Naval, without an equivalent counterpart in the Army or Air Force. Custom has established that this ceremony be formal and impressive designed to strengthen that respect for authority which is vital to any military organization. Parading all hands at quarters and the public reading of official orders stems from those days when movement of mail and personnel was a very slow process. This procedure was designed to ensure that only duly authorized officers held command and all aboard were aware of its authenticity.

The strength and supremacy of today's Navy stems in large measure the observance of customs and traditions, each founded on need, each contributing its share to stability, combat effectiveness and smooth transfer of authority. This simple ceremony, passing authority and responsibility to yet another fine officer, reflects the dedication of free men and women serving their nation proudly.

Command Ashore

The Command Ashore Insignia consists of a trident surrounded by a wreath. The insignia worn on the right breast by all officers presently in command, and on the left by all officers who previously held command ashore.

 


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