USA: Naval Submarine Base New London Hosts Change of Command Ceremony
A Toledo, Ohio, native assumed command of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769), May 16, during a change of command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn.
About 500 family, friends and crew members looked on as Cmdr. Michael Majewski relieved Cmdr. Sam Geiger to become Toledo’s ninth skipper.
The bar has been set high for Majewski who grew up in the ship’s namesake. Geiger is widely praised within the submarine force for exceptional leadership that led to high crew retention and morale.
He assumed command in June 2011 and is credited with fostering an environment that enabled his 157 officers and enlisted personnel to succeed.
Toledo exceeded every metric of performance during Geiger’s tenure, said guest speaker Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, director of the U.S. Navy’s Warfare Integration Division.
“Top inspection results, unequaled performance at sea, mission execution…,” said Breckenridge, illustrating how Geiger “delivered the highest standards of leadership.”
Geiger led the ship during a nearly seven-month overseas deployment in 2012, followed by an 18-month maintenance period at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton.
“Every milestone was met with the crew ready to execute,” said Geiger, a native of Monroe, Louisiana.
Toledo earned the numerous awards under his watch, including Submarine Development Squadron 12’s 2011 Damage Control ‘DC’, Medical ‘M’, Communication ‘C’ and Navigation ‘N’. Toledo also received the squadron’s 2012 Battle ‘E’ and Navigation ‘N’.
“Take my word for it, these men performed at a superior level,” said Geiger who gave his crew the credit. “It has been my greatest honor to serve with you,” he told crew members just before relinquishing command.
Geiger is slated to remain in Groton and report to Submarine Squadron 4 as a deputy commander.
Majewski enlisted in the Navy immediately following high school. He quickly received an appointment to the Naval Academy and graduated with a bachelor’s in systems engineering in 1996.
He has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and has served aboard fast attack submarines USS Tucson (SSN 770), USS Newport News (SSN 750), and USS Cheyenne (SSN 773).
Majewski’s most recent assignment was as a Navy special projects officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C.
“Together we embark on a path that will lead us back to the tip of the spear,” he told his crew after assuming command, signaling the ship’s renewed focus on at-sea operations now that scheduled shipyard repairs are complete.
Toledo was commissioned in February 1995 and is one of 41 active Los Angeles-class submarines that are the mainstay of the Navy’s fast attack submarine force.
Press Release, May 19, 2014; Image: US Navy