SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Capt. Matthew Paradise relieved Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo as commanding officer of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during a pierside change of command ceremony June 11 on the ship's flight deck.
Verissimo, who assumed command of Carl Vinson in May 2016, was promoted to rear admiral during the ceremony just before turning over command to Paradise. Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander, Naval Air Forces, spoke during the event and praised Verissimo's leadership.
"Your leadership enabled Vinson to be the pinnacle example of the word 'readiness,'" said Miller. "We could always count on your ship and crew to answer the call of duty, day in and day out without complaint, hesitation or delay. No other aircraft carrier came close to matching your readiness."
Verissimo led Carl Vinson's crew of 3,200 Sailors during every facet of carrier operations, including two back-to-back Western Pacific deployments in 2017 and 2018. Carl Vinson's most recent deployment included a historic visit to Vietnam, the first by a U.S. aircraft carrier in more than 40 years.
"We chose the perfect captain, the perfect ship, and the perfect crew to represent naval aviation, the Navy and our nation on this historic and monumental visit," said Miller.
Carl Vinson amassed 400 days underway during Verissimo's tenure. During his final address as Carl Vinson's captain, Verissimo congratulated crew members on the ship's success.
"Congratulations on a job well done," said Verissimo. "You have carried forward our namesake's legacy of honorable service to our nation and strength from the sea. Thank you for training each other, thank you for your trust in me, and thank you for working as a strong team."
Verissimo received the Legion of Merit award for exceptional accomplishments during his tour. He is next scheduled to report to the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C., as a deputy director for operations in the National Joint Operations Intelligence Center.
After Paradise assumed all duties and responsibilities as Carl Vinson's commanding officer, he addressed the crew as captain for the first time.
"I join Admiral Miller and Admiral Verissimo in saluting Team Vinson for all it has achieved in these past few months and years," said Paradise. "There are more opportunities yet to go. We will have the opportunity to showcase America's strength, strengthen ties with our international partners, and remind everybody once again who is the best at what they do."
Paradise enlisted in the Navy in 1985 and attended Basic Underwater Demolition School. While assigned to SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Team 2, he was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and earned his commission in 1992.
After earning his wings as an F/A-18 pilot in July 1995, he flew and served in multiple training and operational commands. Paradise served as the executive officer for USS George H.W. Bush from 2013 to 2015 and commanded USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) from 2016 to 2017.
Carl Vinson is America's third Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The ship's namesake is one of the longest-serving U.S. congressmen in history who had a profound impact on developing America's modern naval force centered on aircraft carriers.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson CVN 70, visit www.navy.mil/local/CVN70/.