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    Fair Winds and Following Seas, Rear Adm. Rock; Welcome Home, Rear Adm. Gray

    Fair Winds and Following Seas, Rear Adm. Rock; Welcome Home, Rear Adm. Gray

    Photo By Katie Hewett | NORFOLK, Va. (June 30, 2022) - Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic held a change of...... read more read more



    Story by Katie Hewett 

    Navy Region Mid-Atlantic

    NORFOLK, VA (NRMA) – Rear Adm. Christopher “Scotty” Gray relieved Rear Adm. Charles W. “Chip” Rock, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (NRMA) in a ceremony outside of Naval Station Norfolk Pennsylvania House June 30.

    Rock assumed command of the Navy’s Mid-Atlantic region on July 20, 2018. During his tour, he provided a full spectrum of shore installation management, services to operating forces and Navy families within Navy Region Mid-Atlantic’s area of responsibility. He fostered a workforce that energetically resolved the Navy’s most complex challenges to sustain the Fleet, enable the Fighter, and support the Family. Rock will retire from the Navy after serving nearly 35 years.

    At the start of the ceremony, Rock was greeted with thunderous applause from the standing-room-only crowd of friends, family and colleagues. From that moment forward, it was clear that this was not going to be your typical change of command ceremony.

    “I am absolutely humbled to have you all here today. In full disclosure this is not your typical change of command ceremony.” Rock said.
    Rather than sticking to traditional script, Rock introduced the ceremony’s guest speaker, Ashley O’Brien, his daughter, by reading a heartfelt letter she wrote to him six years ago in advance of another change of command

    In her letter, O’Brien emphasized how change of command ceremonies aren’t just about one single person, but about all the people Rock has lead throughout his successful 35 years in the Navy.

    ‘It’s about what the country needs. It’s about all the people who need someone like you in their life,’ O’Brien wrote, ‘If I’m half the leader and person you are in my future life and career, I’d be the luckiest person the world.’

    “The author of that letter is right,” Rock said, “Today is about you. I’m grateful you are all here so I can honor you and welcome Rear Adm. Gray and his family.”

    During her remarks, O’Brien touched on her father’s undeniable fortitude, loyalty and leadership.

    “It’s not about the never-ending list awards and medals, or the number of stars on your shoulder,” O’Brien said, “Real leadership is measured by the success of those around you and the impact you have on them. Bosses care about awards, leaders care about how they can best serve their people.”

    Rock then addressed special guests, Sailors and civilian employees of the Region, the region’s overall accomplishments, and welcomed the incoming commander and his family.

    “Know that I am extremely proud of all of you. Thank you for your commitment and dedication, for your integrity, and for respecting each other and those we serve. Your work is what makes the Region Mid-Atlantic organization successful. You should be proud; I certainly am.”

    “As I depart, I know I am turning over the reins to an incredibly talented leader who will take the region to new heights.” Rock said, “I wish you [Rear Adm. Gray] nothing but the best. I know you will make us even better.”

    Gray, a former flight officer and a native of Virginia Beach, Va. most recently served as the commander of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central.

    He is a 1988 graduate of the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, and briefly served as an investment banker before receiving his commission in June 1989 through the Aviation Officer Candidate program. Gray has logged more than 500 carrier-arrested landings and 2,800 flight hours in tactical aircraft.

    Gray’s assignments at shore and at sea are extensive. At sea, he served as commanding officer of assignments with several Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadrons (VAW) as well as commanding officer of Norfolk-based VAW 124 before reporting as the operations officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower for back-to-back deployments to the Arabian Gulf during Operation Enduring Freedom.

    On shore, Gray’s assignments include a tour with the Royal Australian Air Force as part of the Personnel Exchange Program, E-2C/C-2A Aviation Training Systems Assistant Program Manager, military legislative assistant to the Chairman, House Appropriations Military Construction Subcommittee, legislative affairs officer to U.S. Central Command, plans director at Navy Warfare Development Command, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, chief of staff at Navy Region Southeast, commanding officer, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, and chief of staff for Navy Installations Command. Gray served as Commander, Navy Region Northwest from June 2018 to March 2020.

    “I want to congratulate my great friend on a job well done,” Gray said, “The Region Mid-Atlantic team is superbly talented and it is obvious they are hitting on all cylinders – your leadership and the continuity you have provided are the driving reason for the terrific success this region has enjoyed.”

    “Our Navy installations are the springboard from which all war fighting readiness emanates and our forces, warfighters, and families are supported and sustained. As I reflect on the challenges we face, I ask my team to think not about our limitations, but instead of the possibilities for the Navy and our Region,” Gray said.

    “Our mission is clear. We are here to serve the needs of the fleet and will always strive to deliver those essential services that enable our readiness and ensure our future success.”

    As the naval shore installation management headquarters for the Mid-Atlantic region, CNRMA provides coordination of base operating support functions for forces throughout the region in support of the Fleet, Fighter and Family.



    Date Taken: 07.01.2022
    Date Posted: 07.08.2022 14:47
    Story ID: 424636
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US 
    Hometown: NORFOLK, VA, US

    Web Views: 114
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