Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell to hold Change of Command

ETROPAVLOVSK, Russia - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell leaves here after representing the U.S. Coast Guard in the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum (NPCGF). The Boutwell arrived here as U.S. Coast Guard representatives for the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum (NPCGF). The forum was developed to increase international maritime safety and security in the Northern Pacific Ocean and its borders. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Jonathan R. Cilley)

Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Jonathan R. Cilley


ALAMEDA, Calif.- A change of command ceremony is scheduled to be held aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, May 12, 2011, at 10:30 a.m.

During the change of command ceremony, Capt. Matthew J. Gimple will assume the duties and responsibilities as commanding officer of the Boutwell from from Capt. Thomas E. Crabbs. Vice. Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Pacific Area, will be presiding over the ceremony.

Gimple’s previous assignments include six Coast Guard Cutters, including the Coast Guard Cutter Hornbeam, the Coast Guard Cutter Point Sal, the Coast Guard Cutter Willow, the Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon Bay, and the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast.

Gimple, an Oregon, Ohio native, graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1989 and subsequently earned graduate degrees in environmental management from Renssel Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, N.Y., and national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

The Boutwell’s missions include search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, fisheries enforcement, and drug and migrant interdiction. The Boutwell is named after George Boutwell, the Secretary of the Treasury under President Ulysses S. Grant.

In 1980 the crew of the Boutwell conducted the largest at sea rescue in Coast Guard history, successfully rescuing more than 500 people from the burning cruise ship Prisendam, in the Gulf of Alaska.

The crew of the Boutwell also played a key role in the defense of oil terminals off the coast of Iraq and Iran in 2003.

A change of command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a custom that is formal and following military protocol and designed to strengthen the respect for the continuity of command that is vital to any military organization. The culmination of the ceremony is reached when both officers read their orders, face one another, salute, and transfer responsibility of the command. This provides the entire command with the knowledge that the officer directed by proper authority is taking command and an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibilities.

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