NORFOLK (NNS) -- Carrier Strike Group 12 held a change of command ceremony at the Pennsylvania House on Naval Station Norfolk, April 15.
During the ceremony, Rear Adm. Kevin J. "Komrade" Kovacich relieved Rear Adm. Walter E. "Slapshot" Carter, Jr. as Commander, CSG 12.
Carter assumed command of CSG 12 in October 2011 and led the strike group through a wide array of missions and exercises, including the 25th and final deployment of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (ENTCSG)
"Slapshot, you've done a phenomenal job," said guest speaker Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. "If you want to know how a strike group commander should command, then this is it."
"When you get to the point where you have a team as good as we've had here with the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group and now the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, it means I have a long string of thank yous," said Carter, who went on to thank several of the members of CSG 12 along with many other individuals.
Carter, a native of Pascoag, R.I., graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981 and was designated a naval flight officer in 1982. He graduated from the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) in the last all-Phantom class in 1985. His next assignment will be president of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.
"We have some challenges ahead," said Kovacich. "We will do the exact things the CNO has already entrusted us with, that is war fighting first, operating forward and being always ready. I'm convinced that we will be once again the lead service as we come out of [sequestration]."
Kovacich, previously Director, Joint Capabilities and Integration Division (N83), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C., is a 1980 graduate of California State Polytechnic University at Pomona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He worked as a Certified Public Accountant before joining the Navy in 1983 through the Aviation Officer Candidate Program. Kovacich earned a Master of Political Science from Auburn University at Montgomery when he was assigned to the Air Force Command and Staff College.
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