The change of command ceremony is a tradition that dates back to the early days of the establishment of the United States Navy. According to U.S. Navy Regulations, “A commanding officer about to be relieved of his command shall, at the time of turning over command, call all hands to muster. The officer about to be relieved shall read his orders of detachment and turnover the command to his successor, who shall read his orders and assume command.”

In keeping with the U.S. Navy regulations, command leadership, families and the crew of Navy Recruiting District San Diego gathered to bid farewell to the leader who has commanded the district for three years. 

Cmdr. Patrick Copeland relieved Cmdr. Silas Bouyer as commanding officer of Navy Recruiting District San Diego during a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Point Loma Harbor Drive Annex May 25. 

Bouyer, a native of Detroit and a 1998 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, assumed command of NRD San Diego November 2016. During his tour, Bouyer led the command to numerous achievements. 

Achievements that Rear Adm. Peter Garvin, commander Navy Recruiting Command spoke about during the keynote address. 

“Today is about so much more than these two men, - it is but about thea celebration of the command itself,” said Garvin. “It is a time to pause and recognize the many achievements that you, - the men and women of NRD San Diego - have accumulated over the past year for your Navy and nation. NRD San Diego is truly a crown jewel of the recruiting nation. It has Everything we are looking for: a fleet concentration area, - a seemingly endless able- bodiesd populous populace in terms of intelligence and aptitude, and a climate that encourages physical fitness. In other words, it’s a recruiting paradise capable of filling our most demanding and technical positions. 

Garvin went on to explain that if San Diego fails in recruiting, the nation fails in recruiting. NRD San Diego is ranked number one in recruiting for all enlisted programs including new contracts, females, nuclear engineers and prior service. NRD San Diego also has the lowest attrition. With regards to officer recruiting, NRD San Diego leads the nation in Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) recruiting. 

“Excellence doesn’t happen by accident,” said Garvin. “Excellence is demonstrated by all these accolades, but it but doesn’t happen without great leadership.”


In speaking directly to Bouyer, Garvin said, “You have excelled as a leader, but the results show, not just in the recruiting numbers, but in all the intangible statistics and an on the faces of the Sailors under your command.”

In his farewell speech, Bouyer explained what is so meaningful about his tour commanding NRD San Diego. 

“I love this place,” said Bouyer. “When I talk about this place, it is not a building - Building 17 down the street or a particular recruiting station - it is the heart and soul of this place. It is 328 people doing our mission and making this place fun. I think about all the things we have done over the past three years and I think about how talented you all are. You are all truly talented.”


He added, “It’s not the market, it’s the leadership and it’s not the market, it’s you! Fortunate for us, we have 328 leaders doing the job every single day. I cannot tell you how much I am grateful for everything that you have done. It is not a product of your zip code, but it is what is inside of you that makes this place wonderful.” 
Copeland, a native of Manchester, Conn., has served as the executive officer of NRD San Diego since November 2016. 

In his speech, Copeland said that in his 22-year career, he has grown to love the Navy and the outstanding people who make it the best place to work. 

“Silas, you are one of those people, and you have done an outstanding job here over the last three years. You took care of the team, crushed the mission, and led us to achieve unprecedented success,” said Copeland. 

“You have helped create the best recruiting district in the nation and your legacy will have a long-lasting impact on me, as well as al the Sailors and civilians before us today.”
Concluding his speech, Copeland spoke to the team at NRD San Diego. 

“I appreciate everything you do on a daily basis. You are the best recruiting team in the nation! I will make this promise to you today. I will do everything I can as your commanding officer over the next 18- months to ensure you reach both your personal and professional goals.”

In return he requested these three things from the crew: “The first is to continue to be the professionals I know that you are and represent the Navy with pride. Secondly, I ask that you do your best on a daily basis to achieve your personal goals and our mission as a team. Finally, and most importantly, I ask that you take care of yourself, your teammates, and your families,” said Copeland. 


Established January 1975, NRD San Diego encompasses 210,000 square miles covering Arizona, Nevada and Southern California. Headquartered at Naval Base Point Loma, NRD San Diego has more than 50 recruiting stations in the tri-state region and employs more than 300 recruiters, support personnel and civilians.

 



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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)