Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak holds change of command ceremony

Rear Adm. Daniel Abel, Lt. Aaron Wesson, Capt. Mark Morin and Capt. Melissa Rivera render honors during the national anthem at Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak Alaska's change of command ceremony June 10, 2015. The ceremony took place in the air station's hangar to welcome Morin, the incoming commanding officer, and bid farewell to Rivera, the outgoing commanding officer. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson)

Rear Adm. Daniel Abel, Lt. Aaron Wesson, Capt. Mark Morin and Capt. Melissa Rivera render honors during the national anthem at Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak Alaska’s change of command ceremony June 10, 2015.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson)

KODIAK, Alaska — Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, held a change of command ceremony to welcome Capt. Mark Morin, the incoming commanding officer, and bid farewell to Capt. Melissa Rivera, the outgoing commanding officer, Wednesday.

Rivera has been the commanding officer of Air Station Kodiak since 2012. She will transfer to New London, Connecticut, to serve as the commandant of cadets of the Coast Guard Academy. Rivera’s personal military awards include three Meritorious Service Medals, two Air Medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals and an Army Achievement Medal. She is married to retired Coast Guardsman Epy Rivera and has four daughters.

“Serving as commanding officer of Air Station Kodiak for three years has been the best tour of my career,” said Rivera. “It’s been one of my favorite places to live and serve, but I’m excited to move back to the east coast and serve as the commandant of cadets at the Academy.”

Morin’s prior military experience was as an enlisted Army Ranger assigned to the 1st 75th Ranger Battalion in Savannah, Georgia. In addition, he completed the Warrant Officer Flight Training Program and was assigned to Fort Devens, Massachusetts, as a helicopter pilot. He also attended the Naval War College Command and Staff program and earned a Master’s of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.

Morin was previously assigned as the Coast Guard liaison officer to the U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu, Hawaii, from 2013-2015 and served as the co-chair for the Maritime Security Committees for the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and New Zealand.

Morin’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, Coast Guard Air Medal and two Coast Guard Commendation Medals.

“I want this to be the best assignment for the crew and their families,” said Morin, who has relocated to Kodiak with his wife and three children. “What I want for the crew is to be safe, enjoy their job, perform well and have great attitudes. With that, the sky is the limit.”

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition that ensures the continuity of command. It is a formal ceremony conducted before the entire crew. The ceremony marks the transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability for the station and the accomplishment of its assigned mission. It is conducted according to a formally prescribed ritual, to honor and maintain traditions of the service.

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