USS Russell holds last change of command before hull swap

Ensign Natalie Warren

USS Russell (DDG 59)

USS Russell (DDG 59) held a change of command ceremony Oct. 19 on the waterfront at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Cmdr. Gary Cave relieved Cmdr. Joseph Carrigan as commanding officer. Guest speaker Capt. Wallace G. Lovely, commander of Destroyer Squadron 31, praised Carrigan for his exceptional performance while in command of Russell.

“The accomplishments of the Sailors under the impressive leadership of Joe Carrigan were many and game changing. Each and every time they were challenged, they raised the bar,” said Lovely.

Carrigan said he was honored to have the opportunity to command Russell and acknowledged that the ship’s success during his time as commanding officer was because of the crew and their hard work.

Speaking of deployment, he said, “This crew did it all, and they never missed a beat. But I think what this crew can be most proud of is the phenomenal reputation that Russell earned on deployment – always on station, always on time, always full mission capable, the most reliable ship in [U.S.] 5th Fleet, bar none.”

Carrigan was awarded the Meritorious Service medal for his exceptional performance as commanding officer from March 2011 to October 2012. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal (six awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various campaign and service honors.

Carrigan will next report for duty to the Office of Legislative Affairs, Washington, D.C.

Carrigan then relinquished command to Cave who spoke with fondness of his time as executive officer.

“It has been a point of pride and my distinct pleasure to serve as Russell’s executive officer over the past 17 months, and I am deeply humbled by the opportunity now to serve as commanding officer of this fine ship,” Cave said.

This is the last change of command for Russell while homeported at Pearl Harbor. The crew will swap hulls with USS Halsey out of San Diego this January.

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Category: News