Coast Guard Cutter Spencer receives new commanding officer

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON – U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spencers’s crew received a new commander during a change of command ceremony, June 30, 2011 at the ships homeport in Boston.

Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, commander Coast Guard Atlantic Area and Coast Guard Defense Force East, presided over the ceremony.

Cmdr. Geoff Gagnier relieved Cmdr. Jeff Thomas as commanding officer of the Spencer.

Thomas served as Spencer’s commanding officer since May 2009. During his tour, the Spencer completed maritime homeland security operations in the North Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea including; the interdiction of two suspected drug trafficking vessels, seizure of 1,100 pounds of cocaine, and the interdiction of 167 Haitian, Cuban and Dominican Republic Migrants. Thomas championed the Coast Guard’s diversity strategy by fully integrating female crewmembers to the cutter. He also fostered community support and nation building by positively impacting people from St. Lucia, Curacao, Uruguay, and Brazil through community relations projects while deployed.

Thomas is now assigned to the Office of Emerging Policy at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Gagnier became the cutter’s sixteenth commanding officer. He came to the Spencer from the 1st Coast Guard District in Boston, where he served as the executive assistant to the district commander.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition aboard military ships and shore commands. It represents a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another. The core of this event is the formal passing of command in the presence of the entire crew, leaving no doubt as to who has assumed the mantle of authority.

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