PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Cmdr. Arthur Ray relieved Cmdr. Terry Johns as commanding officer of the Virginia Beach-based Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous during a change of command ceremony Thursday aboard the cutter at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
Ray recently served in the Office of Counterterrorism and Defense Operations Policy at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“Serving as commanding officer aboard the Vigorous has afforded me the opportunity to achieve a life-long aspiration – to lead, guide and hopefully inspire Coast Guard men and women to become a vital and successful part of one of the most demanding, exciting and essential organizations in our nation,” said Johns. “I am so proud to have served with such talented and dedicated heroes that protect our nation and maritime environment.”
During John’s two years serving as the commanding officer, the crew aboard the Vigorous conducted more than 90 commercial fishery boardings, intercepted a Haitian vessel with 68 migrants and participated in the international search and rescue response for missing British crew of the sailing vessel Cheeki Rafiki.
Johns retired after the ceremony with 33 years of service in the Coast Guard.
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally restates that the continuity of command will be maintained and is a formal ritual conducted before the assembled company of command. It conveys to the officers, enlisted members, civilian employees and auxiliary members of the Coast Guard that although the authority of command is relinquished by a leader and is assumed by another, it is still maintained without interruption.