Coast Guard holds change of watch ceremony

SAN DIEGO – A change of watch ceremony for the Reserve Command Chief of Coast Guard Sector San Diego occurred Friday, Oct. 1 at 12:45 p.m., at the Coast Guard base on Harbor Drive.

During the ceremony, Capt. Thomas H. Farris, commander Sector San Diego, presided over the ceremony as Senior Chief Petty Officer Lia Hitchcock assumed the responsibilities of Reserve Command Senior Chief from Chief Petty Officer Thomas Baker.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Lia Hitchcock (right) assumed the responsibilities of Reserve Command Senior Chief of the sector from Chief Petty Officer Thomas Baker (left).

Senior Chief Petty Officer Lia Hitchcock (right) assumed the responsibilities of Reserve Command Senior Chief of the sector from Chief Petty Officer Thomas Baker (left).

The reserve command chief shares the same responsibilities as an active duty command master chief. Both represent their commander and communicate the commander’s goals and direction for the command to the field, while simultaneously representing the field’s views and concerns to the commander. They also act as a “resource person” assisting Coast Guard personnel and subordinate commands as required. They enhance communication and foster a better understanding of the needs and viewpoints of all members of the Coast Guard family.

The change-of-watch ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a formal custom that is designed to strengthen the respect of authority, which is vital to any military organization. The climax of the ceremony is reached when both members read their orders, face one another, salute and transfer responsibility of the command. This also provides the entire command with the knowledge that the member directed by proper authority is taking command and is an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibility.

After the change-of-watch ceremony, a promotion ceremony was held as Chief Baker was promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer.

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