This virtual event provided family members, colleagues, leadership and fellow sailors worldwide the opportunity to witness the transfer of authority and responsibility from one flag officer to another, signifying Small as the new leader of NAVWAR.
Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William Lescher served as the presiding officer for the Change of Command, attending the event virtually from the Pentagon. During the ceremony, Lescher highlighted Becker’s steadfast leadership, a number of NAVWAR’s extraordinary accomplishments, and his confidence in Small to elevate the NAVWAR team to achieve the scale and velocity needed for the immense information warfare mission.
“I want to recognize the amazing Sailors and Navy Civilians who make up this extraordinary command,” said Lescher. “Their exceptional professionalism, expertise and innovation bring a unique skill set needed to meet fleet information warfare requirements. Thank you for all your hard work to rapidly deliver warfighting capabilities from seabed to space.”
On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, Lescher also presented NAVWAR with the Meritorious Unit Commendation award for impactful achievements and distinctive accomplishments made under the leadership of Becker.
Following the award presentation, Becker reflected on his time at NAVWAR, thanked his family and emphasized the driving force behind NAVWAR’s success, “its people.”
As NAVWAR commander I have had the privilege to lead a world-class command with a world-class workforce, dedicated to delivering the most advanced capabilities to the warfighter,” said Becker. “I am extremely proud to have served alongside such great professionals these past three and half years, and the 20 years prior to that. I wish Admiral Small and this tremendous Navy command the very best success going forward.”
As Becker’s flag was lowered and Small’s flag was raised, Small became NAVWAR’s Commander, responsible for leading a global workforce of more than 11,000 civilian and military personnel who design, develop and deploy advanced communications and information capabilities for the Department of the Navy.
“I am deeply humbled to assume command of NAVWAR, an organization leading the Nation in the development and delivery of information warfare capabilities,” said Small. “The talent and dedication across the command is exceptional, and I am confident with your support and unmatched technical competence that together we will make certain that NAVWAR continues to develop platforms that pace evolving technologies and threats while delivering unparalleled capability to the warfighter for years to come.”
Small is coming to NAVWAR from serving as the program executive officer for Integrated Warfare Systems in Washington, D.C. A native of Birchwood, Wisconsin, Small received a Bachelor of Science in Physics degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a doctorate in physics from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Small’s operational tours included mechanical division officer and main propulsion assistant on USS Camden (AOE 2), combat systems officer on USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and technical director of Joint Crew Composite Squadron (JCCS) 1 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Small also had a number of tours in acquisition, starting at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division and then the Missile Defense Agency. Moving to the Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), Small was the electronic warfare assistant and then the major program manager for Above Water Sensors (PEO IWS 2). Following he held the position of executive assistant to the assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.