USS Stethem Holds Change of Command

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew R. Cole, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Japan

YOKOSUKA, Japan – Cmdr. Christopher W. Adams assumed command of the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) during a change of command ceremony, Nov. 20.

Adams, who had served as Stethem’s executive officer for 18 months, relieved Cmdr. Michael B. Devore.

Devore paid tribute to the crew and officers on a job well done during his tour. He concluded with a final note of admiration and advice for the crew.

“In these past months you have demonstrated nothing but pride, class and professionalism,” said Devore. “When I first came aboard, I asked you to be bold like Robbie Stethem, and folks I promise you, you have been bold like Robbie. Thank you for that inspiring body of work over the past 18 months. Continue to be bold.”

Guest speakers Capt. John L. Schultz, Commander, Destroyer Squadron Fifteen, and retired Navy SEAL Chief Boatswain’s Mate Kenneth Stethem, brother of Robbie Stethem, the ship’s name sake; praised Devore’s work ethic, leadership and ability to get the job done right the first time.

“This is a special time for giving thanks, first of all for the incredible job that the crew did, and second for the awesome job you did Captain, taking them out in the middle of harms way and keeping them safe,” said Stethem.

Schultz presented Devore with a meritorious service medal for his exemplary performance as Stethem’s commanding officer.

Upon assuming command, Adams praised the crew for their excellent work thus far and asked them to continue their hard work to meet the demands of the Navy.

“I can’t tell you how much of an honor it has been to serve with this crew,” said Adams. “I could not ask for a better office to serve in as the executive officer and to continue on to command,” he said. “Hold nothing back. It’s impossible to predict the challenges we may face in the future, but I would ask that we attack them together with the same intensity and positive energy, and engage the same way we have in the past and continue to up hold the legacy of Robbie Stethem,” said Adams.

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