Today, I have informed the chief of naval operations that this Thursday I will step aside earlier than previously planned as the commander, Naval Surface Forces, and commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. This was a difficult decision to make, but I make it with the best interest of the Surface Warfare community and the Navy in mind.
In December, the Senate confirmed Rear Adm. Richard Brown to be the next commander of Naval Surface Forces and Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Surface Warfare community will be in good hands as Rich is a superb and talented naval officer.
In this job, I've spent three and a half years traveling around the world spending time with our Surface Force and the men and women who bring life, energy and purpose to our ships. I've loved this job and the people I've worked with. It has been the highest honor to serve our Nation and the Navy for more than 40 years.