NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) held a change of command ceremony in the ship's hangar bay, March 17.
Capt. Brian E. Luther relieved Capt. Chip Miller III as commanding officer.
"[He] is the perfect man taking over at the perfect time," Miller said. "Capt. Luther will lead them well, and he will lead them with integrity."
Luther, a 1984 graduate of Marquette University, was designated a naval aviator in March 1986. He previously served as executive officer on board USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and as commanding officer of USS Tarawa (LHA 1).
"Over the past month, I've seen that George H.W. Bush is a respected, well-trained, professional command that is ready to serve our nation in a time of war," Luther said. "Under Capt. Miller, you have accomplished much and done it exceptionally well. It is my honor and my privilege to be your commanding officer."
As the ship prepares for its first combat deployment, Miller was recognized as the instrumental force that transitioned George H.W. Bush from a construction and shipyard environment to a certified combat-ready unit.
"Nearly every operational first for USS George H.W. Bush was achieved under your leadership," said Rear Adm. Nora Tyson, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 2. "You and this incredible ship and her crew have made history."
During the past two years, George H.W. Bush completed more than 200 inspections and earned a wide variety of certifications and accolades, including carrier air traffic control center certification; certified medical teaching affiliate with the Uniformed Services University of Health Services; first East Coast carrier to successfully launch and load the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile; and the highest score of any aircraft carrier in the past four years during Tailored Ship's Training Availability/Final Evaluation Problem.
George H.W. Bush is the only aircraft carrier to fly both the enlisted surface and enlisted aviation specialist warfare pennants, and the ship won the U.S. Fleet Forces Retention Excellence Award, also known as the "Golden Anchor," for 2009 and 2010.
"You held this crew to the highest possible standards, and then showed them how to achieve them," Tyson said to Miller. "It's because of those remarkable accomplishments that your Sailors are staying Navy. Those pennants are flying high and those gold anchors are shining."
Miller was also praised for his commitment to family readiness and community service, exemplifying President George H.W. Bush's dedication to selfless service to others.
Miller is transferring to Naval Air Forces Atlantic in Norfolk, Va.
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.