GREAT LAKES, Illinois (NNS) -- In a ceremony held in the Midway Ceremonial Drill Hall at Recruit Training Command (RTC), Rear Adm. Mike Bernacchi relieved Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans as Commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), Aug. 9, aboard Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois.
Vice Adm. Robert P. Burke, Chief of Naval Personnel, served as the keynote speaker at the ceremony. Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), was the presiding officer.
NSTC supports naval accessions training for 98 percent of the Navy's new officers and enlisted Sailors. This training includes the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities across the country, Officer Training Command (OTC) in Newport, Rhode Island, Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's only boot camp, as well as the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development program at more than 600 high schools worldwide.
"Stephen, you've led by example, pushed your team to new heights, and cared for them every step of the way," Burke said. "In doing so, you've accomplished some incredible things with a team that works together as a well-oiled machine. Under your leadership, this team has continued to deliver the results our Navy needs at an increasingly challenging time."
Evans is the son of a United States Marine and a native of Beaufort, South Carolina. He will report as Commander, Carrier Strike Group Two, embarked aboard USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77), homeported in Norfolk, Virginia.
Evans earned the Legion of Merit for his work at NSTC, providing inspirational leadership and ensuring excellence in all endeavors as each initiative implemented under his guidance enhanced the safety, quality of life, and high velocity learning of more than 100,000 recruits, officer candidates and midshipmen.
"This is the best first flag officer job in the Navy, and has been the highlight of my career so far," Evans said. "It is all the hard work and dedication from the NSTC staff that has made this such a rewarding tour."
Bernacchi, from Pleasant Ridge, Michigan, reports to NSTC following assignment as the executive assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C.
"A fellow submariner with degrees in Biology, and Nuclear and Industrial engineering, he's also an energetic leader who has excelled in every assignment and every level of command--and gained the trust and confidence of the Navy's most senior leaders," Burke said.
Bernacchi received his commission through Officer Candidate School at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, in 1988. He graduated from the University of Detroit with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He also holds masters degrees from the University of Michigan in Nuclear Engineering and Industrial Engineering. His operational tours include service aboard both attack and ballistic missile submarines, including USS James Madison (SSBN 627), USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) and USS Santa Fe (SSN 763). He commanded USS Alexandria (SSN 757) and was commodore of Submarine Squadron 4 in Groton, Connecticut. Bernacchi was recognized by the Naval League of the United States in 2007 with the John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership.
"We will continue to seek out innovative ways to improve the Sailor development process," Bernacchi said. "Our leaders have given us their complete support to accomplish our mission and distribute America's best and brightest talent to the fleet."
Ashore, he served as executive assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, executive assistant to the Chief of Naval Personnel, chief of staff for Submarine Group 2, deputy nuclear community program manager, special assistant to Naval Reactors for officer matters, and cruise missile planner for theater operations at United States Strategic Command.
For more information about NSTC, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/nstc/ or visit the NSTC Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/NavalServiceTraining/.
For more news from Naval Service Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/greatlakes/.