MANILA, PI - USS SPRUANCE (DDG 111) held its change of command ceremony on December 23, 2013 while conducting operations in the Pacific. Commander Dan Cobian relieved Commander George Kessler, Jr. as the Commanding Officer of the sixty first Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer.
After another busy day on SPRUANCE’s maiden deployment, the ceremony took place on the flight deck in front of the ship’s crew. The intimate, time-honored ceremony allowed Commander Kessler to offer his final thoughts and insights before departing. Commander Kessler, who served as the commissioning Executive Officer, has been with SPRUANCE since February 2010, leading SPRUANCE through the commissioning process and two months into the ship’s maiden deployment.
On his final day onboard SPRUANCE, CDR Kessler left the crew with these closing thoughts. “You have made this thing of steel, wires and machinery into a living, breathing ship that is battle ready, tested, and far superior to any I have ever had the pleasure to serve with in the Navy. It has been an honor to serve with each of you. “
Commander Dan Cobian, a prior enlisted Electronic Technician, was commissioned in 1996 after graduating from the University of San Diego as part of the Navy’s BOOST program. Throughout his career he has served in USS HADDOCK (SSN 621), USS FORT FISHER (LSD 40), USS PRINCETON CG 59) and USS STETHEM (DDG 63). Ashore, Commander Cobian served at OPNAV N3/N5, Federal Executive Fellow at RAND Corporation, and as the Deputy EA, Flag Sec and Flag Aide to Commander, Naval Surface Forces in San Diego, CA. He has served as Executive Officer onboard SPRUANCE since April 2012.
"I am honored to be SPRUANCE's new Commanding Officer,” said CDR Cobian. “I look forward to continuing to work with, what I believe, is truly the best ship's crew in the Navy. Over my last 20 months as Executive Officer, I have had the pleasure of working side-by-side with the Sailors onboard SPRUANCE and I have witnessed first-hand their incredible talent, drive, flexibility and selfless dedication."
USS SPRUANCE is currently deployed to the Seventh Fleet Area of Operations in the Pacific just as her namesake, Admiral Spruance, did during World War II.