SAN DIEGO - Capt. William Sherrod relieved Capt. Darren Glaser as the commanding officer of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) during a change of command ceremony aboard the USS Midway museum in San Diego harbor, Nov. 2.
Rear Adm. Cathal O'Connor, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3, was the guest speaker at the ceremony and presented Glaser with a Legion of Merit for his service as commanding officer.
Glaser served as Somerset's commanding officer since June 2016 and led the ship through its maiden deployment.
"When you go into command, you wonder what the challenges are that you're going to face during your tour. I can honestly say I could never have predicted the things that Somerset did," said Glaser.
During his tenure in command, Somerset completed missions in the 3rd, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operations during a 7-month Wester Pacific (WESTPAC) deployment, followed by a deployment to 4th Fleet in support of the international maritime landing exercise UNITAS LVXII.
Glaser credited the strength of the crew for his accomplishments while in command.
"I've had the unique, distinct privilege to be the ship's third captain, and the first captain to take the ship on deployment," said Glaser. "Thank you to my crew. You all are awesome. I could list a hundred things, but anything I ever needed from you, you did it, and I appreciate it."
Glaser's next tour will be at U.S. Pacific Command as the Deputy Chief of Staff.
Sherrod is a 1994 graduate of Jacksonville University and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. He previously commanded Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 from August 2012 to January 2014.
As Somerset's executive officer, Sherrod had words of praise for the crew and thanks for former shipmates.
"It was an honor to serve as your [executive officer] for the past 18 months. I thank you for your service as you truly represent the best our nation has to offer," said Sherrod. "I've watched you come together from all walks of life and forged a bond together through teamwork to accomplish the mission."
Sherrod also commented on the achievements of Somerset during its WESTPAC deployment.
"You were always ready to answer our nation's call, and when that call came time and time again you stood the watch quietly, humbly, without fanfare, and you got it done," said Sherrod. "Your effort built the professional reputation of USS Somerset, a ship known for mission accomplishment."
Sherrod's sea tours include USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Shamal (PC 13), Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46, HSL-44, and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). While serving ashore, he was assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command as a Joint Concepts Planner where he volunteered to augment deployed units and served as the Chief of Operations for Joint Task Force, Balad, Iraq, in 2009.
Somerset entered a ship restricted availability (SRA) maintenance in October, where it is undergoing planned maintenance and upgrades before entering a training phase in May 2018.
For more information on USS Somerset, follow us at http://www.facebook.com/SomersetLPD25