ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Coast Guard Pacific Area Command welcomed Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette as its new commander during a change of command ceremony Monday.
Presided by Coast Guard Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray, who served as the PACAREA commander since April, 2014, was relieved of his duties and responsibilities.
“It has been the honor and joy of my professional career to have served as the Pacific Area commander for the past two years,” said Vice Adm. Ray. “I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to share with so many great Americans. The Coast Guard men and women of Pacific Area have done great things for this region, for our Nation and (for the) world. They have proven time and again that they are the reason we are the world’s greatest Coast Guard, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
“To the men and women of PACAREA, as I listen to the accomplishments noted in (Vice) Adm. Ray’s citation, my heart swelled with pride for you,” said Vice Adm. Midgette. “Not the pride of boastful arrogance, but the pride that comes from accomplishment that is rooted in serving others, that pride to get to feel when get to be part of something special. I really am proud to jointhis team (and) to join you in service to America.”
Following his departure, Vice Adm. Ray will transfer to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to take command as Deputy Commandant for Operations. The DCO position is charged with developing and overseeing the execution of operational planning, policy, and international engagement at the strategic level.
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally restates 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.
The PACAREA Command is the Coast Guard’s regional command element and force provider for maritime safety, security and stewardship in the Pacific. The command’s area of responsibility encompasses six continents, 71 countries and more than 74 million square miles of ocean.