JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Cmdr. Mike R. Dolbec relieved Cmdr. Todd J. Nethercott as commanding officer of the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) during a change of command ceremony on the historic submarine piers in Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, February 24.
Capt. Richard Seif, commander, Submarine Squadron One, presided over the ceremony.
Laura Bush, former first lady of the United States and USS Texas sponsor, forwarded her regards to the commanding officer and crew of the Texas, which was read aloud to the guest of the ceremony.
"Over the last two and a half years, your leadership transformed the Texas crew into an elite team of proud professionals operating at the pinnacle of warfighting readiness," Bush said. "Your ship plays an important role in the defense of freedom and projection of power around the world."
Before being relieved of command, Nethercott attributed the success of the Texas to the dedication and determination from the numerous Sailors and officers of the Texas crew, past and present.
"Texas has been a special boat since the day of her commissioning enjoying some of the highest advancement, retention and crew morale of any boat in the submarine force," Nethercott said. "My tour as commanding officer has been very professionally rewarding, and it has been my greatest privilege. I am proud of everything that we accomplished during our time together."
Seif presented Nethercott a Legion of Merit during the ceremony for his outstanding service as commanding officer. Under Nethercott's command, Texas successfully completed a Western Pacific deployment, won the 2015 Arleigh Burke Fleet trophy for most improved warfighting readiness in the Pacific Fleet, the 2015 Captain Edward F. Ney Award for food service excellence, and most recently a Meritorious Unit Commendation.
After official orders were read, Dolbec assumed all duties and responsibilities as commanding officer and addressed his new crew and guests of the ceremony.
"Finally to the crew, I am humbled to be before you standing aboard one of the most powerful warships ever constructed," Dolbec said. "However, all of this ship's technology and power is meaningless without you - Texas' heart and soul."
Prior to assuming command, Dolbec reported from Army War College earning a master's degree in Strategic Studies.
Nethercott will report to commander, Submarine Squadron One as the deputy commander for training.
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