USCG Change Of Command Ceremony

 

united states coast guard, indian river life saving station, delaware, sussex county, lewes
Chief Boatswain’s Mate Michael Kristensian doing his final inspeciton shaking hands with BM2 … Bryan Thurman
USCG, indian river life saving station, sussex county, delaware, CAPT Benjamin Cooper Commander, USCG Sector Delaware Bay,  Chaplain Todd Fowler
CAPT Benjamin Cooper Commander, USCG Sector Delaware Bay (left) and Chaplain Todd Fowler (right)

I was invited to attend the change of command ceremony at the Indian River Coast Guard Station yesterday, I was honored to be there.  My buddy Chief Boatswain’s Mate Michael Kristiansen has been the Officer in Charge (OIC) at the Indian River Coast Guard Station for the past four years.  During his service in the Coast Guard he has been awarded two Commendation medals, one Achievement Medal, one Letter of Commendation, and numerous unit and service awards.  Mike is a dedicated Coast Guardsman and has done a great deal in the line of duty for this station, his position, and the general public.  He was replaced yesterday by Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jim Pond, who will assume the duty of Officer in Charge at the Indian River Coast Guard Station.  My buddy Mike will be heading to Hawaii, I am going to miss having him around, however I don’t feel sorry for him since he is headed to Hawaii, and hopefully the new OIC will let me fish the rail.  Mike has been a great friend and contact to help keep boaters and the public informed through this website, he will be missed.   Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jim Pond has been awarded one Commendation Medal, four achievement Medals, three letters of Commendation, and numerous unit and service awards.  He will be a great replacement and we want to welcome him to Delaware.  He has been on the West coast for his entire career … welcome to the East side sir.  I spoke with him briefly yesterday I didn’t want to take up his time he will be here for a while.  There were a lot of important people that came to this ceremony.  Needless to say he was up to his brass in them.  Executive Petty Officer BM1 Nick Muskella was the master of ceremonies, Nick is an avid surfer and will be departing next year to a new station.  Nick has also been a great friend over the years.

 

Chief Boatswain's Mate Michael Kristiansen
Chief Boatswain’s Mate Michael Kristiansen
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Coast Guard Station Indian River OIC
Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jim Pond the new Officer in Charge at the Coast Guard Station Indian River

The ceremony for the change of command was exceptional and formal.  There was a presentation of colors after the arrival of the official party.   That is code for there was a lot of brass there, as well as Representative Ron Grey, Fish and Wildlife, and the Delaware State Police were represented.  Chaplain Todd Fowler led an Invocation followed by a personnel inspection.  Captain Benjamin Cooper the Commander of the USCG Sector Delaware Bay read speech about the station and Mike’s achievements here.  He has helped save a great deal of lives during his service here.  Hundreds of people owe he and his crews their lives.  Then Chief Boatswain’s Mate Michael Kristensian performed the task of Reading the Orders and made his remarks.  Thanking everyone for their service at the station.  After which Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jim Pond performed the Reading of Orders, made his remarks, and then the transfer of positions was formally completed.  This was an interesting ceremony to witness, I was impressed.  Finally there was a benediction by Chaplain Todd Fowler and the colors were retired.  It was an honor to be invited to witness the change of command.  We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women of the Coast Guard, they are ever at the ready to help.  You would be shocked at just how much they have to do to stay at the ready and what they have to endure to rescue people.  They deserve the respect they have earned.  Safe travels Mike and enjoy Hawaii, Delaware owes you a great deal and we are forever in your debt.

Semper Paratus!

Rich King

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