Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center hosts change-of-command ceremony

5th Coast Guard District News
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — The crew of the Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center located on Camp LeJeune, held a change-of-command ceremony Thursday at the Marston Pavilion.

Capt. Jonathon Riffe assumed command of the unit from Capt. Mark Wilbert, who served as commanding officer since 2011.

Rear Adm. Scott Buschman, the commander of Force Readiness Command in Norfolk, Va., presided over the ceremony.

“It’s been a great two years watching the transformation of the SMTC into the Coast Guard Center of Excellence,” said Wilbert.

Riffe is a 1991 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering, and he served as the director of the Force Readiness Command’s Performance Technology Center in Yorktown, Va.

Wilbert retired from the Coast Guard after serving more than 34 years in the service. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in October 1978 and worked his way through the enlisted ranks to chief petty officer before attending officer candidate school in 1988, where he subsequently received his commission. Wilbert and his wife will be moving to Mount Pleasant, S.C.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and formal custom that follows military protocol, designed to strengthen the respect for the continuity of command.

Capt. Jon Riffe salutes Capt. Mark Wilbert during a change of command ceremony where Riffe relieved Wilbert as the commanding officer of Special Missions Training Center, June 20, 2013.

Capt. Jon Riffe salutes Capt. Mark Wilbert during a change of command ceremony where Riffe relieved Wilbert as the commanding officer of Special Missions Training Center, June 20, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Nicole Groll)

Additional photos from the ceremony can be viewed at the Coast Guard News Flickr page.

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