GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Capt. Jack Houdeshell relieved Capt. Aaron Thieme as commanding officer, Naval Submarine School, at a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Submarine Base New London March 6.
Thieme led a staff of over 400 in training more than 5,000 officer and enlisted pipeline students. During his tour, he implemented character development training and unique qualifications for his staff to help initial accession Sailors solve problems, make good decisions, and respond positively to stress.
As Thieme thanked his staff, he talked about how the submarine force operates in today's maritime environment and the hard work required to be successful in maintaining maritime superiority undersea.
"Much of that work falls on your shoulders in the training that you are doing today," said Thieme. "I want you to feel a sense of seriousness and urgency - not just importance - but urgency in the work you do in developing the training and giving the training for our Sailors and our teams in the science and art of operating in the undersea. Our future as a force and as a Navy quite literally depends on it."
Thieme, who received the Legion of Merit as part of the ceremony, also reorganized his staff during his time in command to better balance the teaching workload among subject matter experts, enhance instructor professional development, and improve staff efficiency.
"Our advantage in the undersea is not driven solely by better submarines and better gear," said Thieme. "Our advantage is also driven by our people - the quality of the all-volunteer professional force and the quality of the training."
Thieme will report to the Undersea Warfighting Development Command for his next assignment.
After Houdeshell assumed command, he praised the staff for the critical role the school has in supporting submarine commanding officers in training their submarine crews to accomplish their missions.
"Just look at recent deployers, all of whom have returned to many accolades," said Houdeshell. "Their success can be directly related to your hard work and dedication."
Houdeshell, a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics, has served with five fast-attack submarines and deployed to the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean and U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility. He was the executive officer of USS Montpelier (SSN765) and twice the commanding officer of USS Dallas (SSN 700). USS Houston (SSN 713), USS Montpelier, and USS Dallas were all awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" while he was serving with them.
Houdeshell's past assignments have also included Submarine Officer Advanced Course director and director of training at Naval Submarine School; deputy J-2 for innovation and development at U.S. Joint Forces Command; and deputy commander for Submarine Squadron 4.
Naval Submarine School, as part of the Submarine Learning Center within the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) domain, trains officers and enlisted Sailors in the basic knowledge and skills upon which operational submarine commands in the Atlantic and Pacific can build competence and proficiency in operating and maintaining submarines and all their systems.
For more on Naval Submarine School, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/slc/nss/.
For additional information on the Naval Education and Training Command, visit the NETC website at https://www.netc.navy.mil or http://www.navy.mil/local/cnet/. Follow the command on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/netcpao and Twitter @netcpao.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.