Coast Guard Cutter Confidence Hosts Change of Command

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Coast Guard Cutter Confidence is scheduled to host a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral Friday at 10 a.m.

Cmdr. William J. Lawrence will be relieved by Cmdr. Matthew Meilstrup as the commanding officer of the Confidence, a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter, home ported in Port Canaveral.

Meilstrup graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Science. Prior to his assignment as commanding officer aboard the Confidence, Meilstrup has served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Gentian, as Operations Officer in the U. S. Navy Exchange Program aboard the USS Sirocco, and as the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Point Huron. He then served as the Hotel Company Officer at the Coast Guard Academy and after several summers sailing aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, he served for one year as the operations officer of America’s Tall Ship. He was the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Sassafras in Guam and later commissioned the Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia.

Lawrence graduated in 1990 from the Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Science. He has previously served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Chilula, the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence, the Coast Guard Cutter Staten Island, and the Coast Guard Cutter Reliance.

The Confidence was commissioned Feb. 19, 1966 and is the fifth Reliance-class medium endurance cutter. Under Lawrence’s leadership as the commanding officer of the Confidence, the crew conducted law enforcement boardings, provided assistance to distressed mariners, and repatriated over 250 Cuban and Haitian migrants.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a formal and impressive custom, which strengthens the respect for authority. The culmination and heart of the ceremony is reached when both officers formally read their official orders, face one another, salute and transfer responsibility for the command.

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