SAN DIEGO – USS Rushmore (LSD 47) held a change of command ceremony Friday, Oct. 15, during which Rushmore Commanding Officer Cmdr. William Grotewold turned control of the dock landing ship over to Cmdr. Brian Finman.
The ceremony marked the end of a successful 22-month command tour for Grotewold, including a seven-month Western Pacific deployment and entry into a scheduled mid-life maintenance period.
“This crew was the best I could have asked for,” said Grotewold. “There is no place I would have rather been, and nothing I would have rather done, than command the Rushmore.”
The ceremony began with remarks by Marine Corps Col. Ronald Duff, Deputy, Expeditionary Strike Group 3, who congratulated Grotewold on Rushmore’s achievements.
“The dedication, tactical expertise and mentoring provided by Cmdr. Grotewold directly correlates to the Rushmore’s reputation on the waterfront as second to none,” said Duff. “On behalf of all the leadership here today and on the waterfront, I congratulate you on a job well done.”
The ceremony included the traditional presentation of the Commission Pennant, given to Cmdr. Grotewold by Command Master Chief Foy Harris. The change of command concluded with closing remarks by the new commanding officer.
“I am humbled at the thought of taking the reins from such capable hands, but I am ready for the challenge,” said Finman.
Cmdr. Finman came to Rushmore after serving as Branch Head of Staff, Maritime Component Command, Naples, Italy, and is joined by his wife and three children. Cmdr. Grotewold will report to Chief of Naval Operations, Washington D.C., where he will join his wife and son. USS Rushmore returned from a Western Pacific deployment in April 2010, and is currently undergoing a scheduled extended docking phase maintenance availability period.
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