Coast Guard 5th District holds change of command ceremony

5th Coast Guard District NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. — Rear Adm. Steven H. Ratti assumed command of the Coast Guard’s 5th District during a change of command ceremony Wednesday, at 2 p.m. at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion, here.

Ratti relieved Rear Adm. William “Dean” Lee, who has served as the 5th District’s commander since June 2010.

“We are the smallest of the military services. … but when someone is in peril, on the raging sea in the darkest and most dire of circumstances, nobody else does what we do as well as we do it. That’s the privilege of being in this small service,” said Lee.

As commander of the 5th District, Ratti will oversee operations in navigable waters from the middle of New Jersey to the South Carolina border.

Ratti reports to the 5th District following his most recent flag assignment as U.S. Southern Command’s Director of Operations, where he directed military operations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

Prior to being the U.S. Southern Command’s Director of Operations, Ratti served as director of the Joint Interagency Task Force West, U.S. Pacific Command’s executive agent for planning and implementing counterdrug strategy throughout Asia and the Pacific.

Ratti has commanded four Coast Guard cutters: the Point Hope out of Sabine, Texas; the Sapelo out of Eureka, Calif.; the Thetis out of Key West, Fla.; and the Jarvis, out of Honolulu, Hawaii. Ashore, he has served as company officer at the Coast Guard Academy and as chief of the Maritime Law Enforcement School at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown. He also served as the Coast Guard representative and as deputy to the executive director of the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator in the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Vice Admiral Robert C. Parker, the commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area, presided over the ceremony.

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