On Saturday, Admiral Thad Allen presided over the first of three change of watch ceremonies that will culminate in the Commandant Change of Command ceremony as the Coast Guard bids welcome to a new leadership team.
During Saturday’s Change of Watch, Master Chief Mark Allen relieved Master Chief Jeffrey Smith as the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve Force (MCPO-CGRF). The MCPO-CGRF reports directly to the Commandant of the Coast Guard as an advisor and advocate for the men and woman of the Coast Guard Reserve. The MCPO-CGRF serves as a vital role as principal advisor on issues affecting our enlisted reserve force.
Upon relieving the watch, MCPO Allen became the fifth MCPO-CGRF in Coast Guard history. MCPO Smith had held the position since 2003.
The change-of-watch ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a formal custom that is designed to strengthen the respect of authority, which is vital to any military organization. The climax of the ceremony is reached when both members read their orders, face one another, salute and transfer responsibility of the command. This also provides the entire command with the knowledge that the member directed by proper authority is taking command and is an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibility.
Over the next week we will bring you coverage of the change of watch ceremonies for the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard and the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard. And, check back next Tuesday (May 25) for the Change of Command Ceremony as Admiral Robert J. Papp becomes the 24th Commandant of the Coast Guard.