NORFOLK (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Luke M. McCollum relieved Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun as chief of Navy Reserve and commander, Navy Reserve Force, during a change of command ceremony at Admiral Leutze Park on the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 26.
McCollum, the 14th chief of Navy Reserve, is a Texas native, son of a World War II veteran and 1983 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.
The keynote address came from Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John M. Richardson.
"Thank you, Robin for paving the way," said Richardson. "It just goes to show what a great job you have done and what can be accomplished despite gender. Today, it seems natural for a woman to be the commanding officer of an aviation squadron, but when Robin became the very first commanding officer of a Reserve squadron, it was not natural; it was Robin that made that happen."
Braun, the daughter of a career naval aviator and a 1980 graduate of Northern Arizona University, was designated a naval aviator February 1981. She accumulated 5,800 flight hours and became the first female chief of Navy Reserve and Reserve service chief.
Richardson recognized Braun's accomplishments, saying she was where the Navy needed her every time and at the center of action.
"You and your contemporaries opened paths for women that were simply not available when you started your career," said Richardson. "As the chief of the Navy Reserve, Robin has just smacked it out of the park. Our Reserve force exhibits incredible initiative. At the top of this performance is Vice Admiral Robin Braun."
McCollum accepted the responsibility as Chief of Navy Reserve by saying, "I stand in front of you honored to be this country's and this Navy's chief of Navy Reserve. I'm thrilled for the opportunity to work specifically for you, our Sailors."
Of Braun, he said, "I would first like to thank Admiral Braun for her leadership and for setting such a firm foundation for me to take the next steps."
In her farewell speech, Braun, after four years as chief of Navy Reserve and 37 years of honorable service as a naval officer, thanked those who served with her including family, friends and the CNO, after he awarded her the Distinguished Service Medal.
"Thank you for the award, sir," said Braun. "It really is a testament to what our Sailors are doing and to their hard work and dedication."
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