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Annual Change of Command Ceremony to be Held at Maine Maritime Academy

CASTINE, Maine – Maine Maritime Academy President, Dr. William J. Brennan, along with Vice President Dr. Elizabeth True, Captain Gordon MacArthur, Commandant of Midshipmen John D. Cashman, and NROTC Commanding Officer Captain Sean Kearns will preside over the Academy’s Change of Command Ceremony on Monday, February 21, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

This annual ceremony honors the symbolic and physical transfer of authority and responsibilities between two classes of student leaders; graduating First Class Midshipmen pass their leadership positions to Second Class Midshipmen who will guide the Regiment through the next year.

The Change of Command event will be combined with awarding of the Strategic Sealift Midshipman Program pin to fourteen eligible students.  These Regimental students are part of the NROTC program and will commission as Naval Reserve Officers upon graduation and join the ranks of our Nation’s Strategic Sealift Officers.

Traditionally, the Change of Command Ceremony takes place before the entire Regiment. This year, the Regimental Change of Command and awarding of SSMP pins will be in-person and livestreamed for extended family and friends who cannot be here to witness it. In-person guests include family members of the incoming and outgoing student leaders of the Regiment of Midshipmen and the SSMP students receiving their badges. The ceremony begins with the presentation of SSMP pins followed by the traditional Regimental Change of Command ceremony.

“The students recognized today volunteered to take on the challenge and responsibility of leading their peers,” says Commandant Cashman. “Their dedication and leadership enhance Regimental operations and is what makes the Maine Maritime Academy experience unique. It is truly a pleasure to recognize the accomplishments of these outstanding individuals.”

In addition to performing traditional responsibilities as designated by their roles, the outgoing leadership has been instrumental in helping facilitate multiple safety initiatives, assisting in training on-campus and aboard the Training Ship State of Maine (TSSOM), orchestrating a safe Regimental Preparatory Training for incoming freshmen, building a sense of community, maintaining morale and upholding Regimental standards all while adapting to changes brought on by the pandemic.

“Incoming student officers are inheriting high standards of excellence,” continues Cashman. “Given their aspirations and genuine concern for their classmates, I have no doubt that they will excel in carrying out their responsibilities while building upon their own leadership skills. Our regimental program is successful because of the students who, with the support of their peers, fulfill these leadership opportunities.”

In their new roles, incoming officers will help prepare for this summer’s at-sea training cruise aboard TSSOM and the August arrival of the next class of incoming Regimental students. For more information about the Regiment of Midshipmen, please visit our website.

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