NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- The Naval Leadership and Ethics Center (NLEC) held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, Aug. 9.
Capt. Derek Granger relieved Capt. Peter Mantz as only the third commanding officer of NLEC since its establishment in May 2014.
Mantz, who served as NLEC’s commanding officer since November 2015, was recognized by Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, commander, Naval Education and Training Command, for his visionary leadership. Cozad drew parallels between Mantz’s leadership and that of the U.S. tank commander in the World War II movie “Fury.”
“The leadership qualities that it takes to get four young people to follow you back into that tank, the buy-in to the mission, the commitment to your leadership was amazing,” said Cozad, who described the scene where the tank commander encouraged his team to complete its mission of holding a vital crossroads against overwhelming German infantry. “Quite frankly Pete [Mantz], when I think back on your tour here and your service to our Navy, I would follow you into that tank any day of the week.”
Mantz expressed his gratitude to the NLEC team that has supported him for nearly four years.
“I appreciate every single one of you for stepping out and striking that balance of making sure we get it right, making sure we get the objectives, but having the complete freedom to pull in and make whatever you’re teaching your own as an authentic leader, as an authentic facilitator,” said Mantz.
Mantz also reflected on the meaning of force development and NLEC’s role in that process.
“It’s truly about development right, developing people. As we redefine that and I think through it, it would be foolish of me to sit here and say that we develop people,” said Mantz. “I think the first thing to understand about development is that we do not develop other people, right? This goes back to Sailors owning their own journey; they have to own it. We cannot own it for them. They have to develop themselves; they have to want to develop themselves. Our job is to help them see that and to help get them there.”
Mantz retired from the Navy after 29 years of faithful service.
Granger is a native of Millbrook, Alabama, and a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a surface warfare officer and most recently served as a military instructor at the College of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport.
After assuming command, Granger expressed his eagerness to continue NLEC’s mission of preparing commanding officers and their support teams for leadership success.
“As I look around the room, you’d be hard-pressed to find people who are more passionate, more knowledgeable, and more experienced about developing naval leaders,” said Granger. “I look forward to working with everyone here to build leaders of competence and character that our Navy needs and deserves.”
NLEC provides six command-level leadership courses: prospective commanding officer (CO), prospective executive officer, command master chief (CMC)/chief of the boat (COB), CO spouse, CMC/COB spouse and major commanders. These courses convene 14 classes annually for a student throughput of more than 1,200. Additionally, NLEC provides leadership and ethics courses for senior officers in the Senior Leadership Course (SLC), department heads in the Intermediate Leadership Course (ILC), new officers in the Division Officer Leadership Course (DIVOLC) and the new Enlisted Leadership Development Course. SLC, ILC and DIVOLC classes are provided at Newport; Dam Neck, Virginia; and San Diego.
For additional information on NLEC, visit https://www.public.navy.mil/netc/centers/nlec/Default.aspx.
For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.