You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello

SEATTLE – A ceremonial firing of cannons will signal the change of command for the commander of the Coast Guard’s Thirteenth District at Pier 36 here Friday as part of a time-honored Naval tradition.

The ceremony will be held at the Integrated Support Command here, 1519 Alaska Way South, at 10:30 a.m.

Admiral Thad W. Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, will preside over the ceremony as Rear Admiral John P. Currier will relieve Rear Admiral Richard R. Houck, who is retiring from the Coast Guard after 32 years of service.

Houck’s previous assignments include, but are not limited to, student engineer of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton; Engineer Officer on the Coast Guard Cutter Northland; Executive Officer on the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis; Commanding Officer, Integrated Support Command, Portsmouth, Va.; Chief of Staff, Seventeenth Coast Guard District in Juneau, Alaska.

Houck’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, and Coast Guard Achievement Medal.

Currier’s pervious assignments include, but are not limited to, Pacific Area Chief of Operations; Coast Guard Air Station Miami, which is the world’s busiest air-sea search and rescue unit; Chief of Search and Rescue Operations and Director of Auxiliary for the Ninth Coast Guard District based in Cleveland; Commanding Officer of Air Station; Detroit tours of duty at Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., and Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Alaska.

Currier’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal with “O” device and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal with “O” device.

Gun salutes originated as a friendly gesture from one ship to honor another. When a cannon was fired, it partially disarmed the ship, so non-combatant firing of a cannon showed respect and trust. The number of guns fired indicated the rank of the individual in command being honored.

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