USS John Paul Jones
In Harms Way
USS John Paul Jones
Change of command photo
USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG 53) holds Change of Command Ceremony onboard historical USS MISSOURI (BB 63)

The guided-missile destroyer USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG 53) held a change of command ceremony Thursday April 21st onboard the World War II battleship USS MISSOURI (BB 63) at Ford Island, Hawaii.

Cmdr. Scott Rosetti relieved Cmdr. Matt Hall as Commanding Officer of USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG 53).

Hall expressed how proud he is of having had the opportunity to be in command of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and to work with the finest Sailors in the fleet.

"Anyone who thinks JPJ is a great ship because of its leading technology has it all wrong. JPJ is leading IAMD…because we have Sailors like you,” said Hall.

Since December 17th, 2014, Hall has guided his ship and crew through a demanding and impressive testing cycle as the Navy’s Missile Test Ship. During Hall’s tenure in command, John Paul Jones operated 127 days at sea while conducting various unit level training and certification events as well as executing 36 live-fire events, setting 5 naval records in the process.

The ceremony's guest speaker, Capt. Tom Williams, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 23, praised Hall for his exceptional time in command.

“Matt is the consummate Naval Professional…despite the maelstrom around him-his leadership has allowed the brilliance of the crew to shine through,” said Capt. Williams.

Capt. Williams is a graduate of Cornell University and has served his time at sea as Main Propulsion Assistant in USS TICONDEROGA (CG 47), Operations Officer in USS CHINOOK (PC 9) and USS HIGGINS (DDG 76), Executive Officer in USS ANZIO (CG 68), and Commanding Officer in USS WILLIAM P. LAWRENCE (DDG 110).

No stranger to great ships, Capt. Williams remarked “If I need to go to sea and engage the enemy, John Paul Jones is the first ship I’m taking into the fight with me.”

During the ceremony, Hall was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his successes in command of John Paul Jones from December 2014 to April 2016.

As Rosetti assumed command, he thanked Hall for turning over a very capable ship and an exceptional crew.

“I am confident I can speak for the entire crew…in characterizing the time spent under your leadership as a period of our lives we will look back on and be profoundly proud…” said Rosetti.

Rosetti addressed the crew on their future under his command and closed with a quote by Commodore Jones himself: “Our job is to keep her [homeland] free. Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all. To this solemn purpose we call on the young, the brave, the strong, and the free. Heed my call. Come to the sea.”

USS John Paul Jones is the 3rd Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer and the first to be home ported on the West Coast. John Paul Jones is the first DDG to receive the latest Commercial Off-the-Shelf open architecture computing infrastructure, SPY-1D transmitter upgrades, and Multi-Mission Signal Processor. Together, these upgrades provide the backbone for the new Baseline 9C, which will soon be implemented throughout the surface fleet. John Paul Jones is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where she remains a part of Destroyer Squadron 23.

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