Coast Guard Sector Charleston conducts change of command ceremony

Capt. John Cole, left, assumes command of Coast Guard Sector Charleston from Capt. John Reed, right, during a change of command ceremony, May 12, 2020, in Charleston, South Carolina. Rear Adm. Eric Jones, Commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District, presided over the ceremony. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ltjg. Phillip VanderWeit)

Capt. John Cole, left, assumes command of Coast Guard Sector Charleston from Capt. John Reed, right, during a change of command ceremony, May 12, 2020, in Charleston, South Carolina.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ltjg. Phillip VanderWeit)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The crew of Coast Guard Sector Charleston conducted a change of command ceremony Tuesday at Sector Charleston.

During the ceremony, Capt. John Reed transferred command of Coast Guard Sector Charleston to Capt. John Cole.

Reed served as the commander of Sector Charleston since August 2017 and oversaw maritime safety, security, and stewardship operations along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia that included 933 search and rescue cases resulting in 359 lives saved and 1,347 lives assisted. Reed guided Sector Charleston through several major hurricane responses, the unprecedented response to the capsizing of the M/V Golden Ray, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The change of command ceremony marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. It is a time-honored tradition, conducted before the assembled crew, as well as honored guests and dignitaries to formally demonstrate the continuity of the authority within a command.

“It has been an honor to lead the women and men of Coast Guard Sector Charleston over the past three years as they accomplished a host of challenging missions that contributed to the safety and security of our shared waterways and the marine transportation system across the Coasts of South Carolina and Georgia,” said Reed. “My wife and I look forward to the new assignment, but will certainly miss the Lowcountry and we wish the best to Captain Cole and his family as they settle into what I view as the best assignment in the Coast Guard.”

Reed is transferring to the Eighth Coast Guard District where he will hold the position of Chief of Staff.

“I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome to Charleston and consider it a privilege to call the Lowcountry my new home,” said Cole. “I look forward to continuing the great work of Captain Reed, along with our Coast Guard team and outstanding partners across South Carolina and Georgia. We remain committed to providing for the safety, security, and stewardship of our ports, waterways, and offshore maritime environment.”

Capt. John Cole comes to Charleston from The Interdiction Committee (TIC) in Washington, D.C., where he held the position of Executive Director.

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