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    JEB Little Creek-Fort Story holds change of command

    JEB Little Creek-Fort Story holds change of command

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Chelsea Palmer | Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Commander Rear Adm. Wesley McCall presents the Legion of...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story

    Family, friends, colleagues, and shipmates gathered at the Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Fort Story First Landing Chapel to witness the time-honored tradition of a change of command ceremony on June 1.

    Capt. David L. Gray relieved Capt. Michael L. Witherspoon as the new commanding officer of JEB Little Creek-Fort Story.

    Witherspoon assumed command of the Navy’s largest naval amphibious base in June 2020. He navigated the installation through COVID-19 and complex and critical encroachment matters during his tenure. He spearheaded exceptional operational quality of life initiatives, culminating in the installation departments receiving many awards and accolades.
    “Today is bittersweet in so many ways,” said Witherspoon. “Partly, because I have to say farewell to my amazing staff and some of the most amazing colleagues – all of my amazing fellow COs and farewell to our community partners. I have called Hampton Roads home for the past 27 years, so it pains me to say farewell.”

    Throughout his speech, Witherspoon reminisced about his time at JEB Little Creek-Fort Story and praised his team members, community partners, mentors, and family for their combined support. Witherspoon received the Legion of Merit during the ceremony for exceptional meritorious performance and service as the installation commanding officer.

    Witherspoon’s next assignment is as commanding officer, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Auburn-Tuskegee Consortium in Auburn, Ala.
    Following the award presentation, Witherspoon and Gray officially changed command by reading their orders.

    The ceremony marked Gray’s first address to the command. During his speech, he emphasized that the continued success of the installation depends on everyone working as a TEAM.

    “I love our great working relationship with the City of Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Just one person will not win the job, but the JEB Little Creek-Fort Story team,” said Gray. “I look forward to winning the fights ahead of us as we help 33 commands onboard complete their mission. We must protect them as they conduct operations to win the high-end fight against our advisories.”

    Gray began his Navy career in 1990 as an engineman aboard the USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44). In 1996, he was selected for the Seaman-to-Admiral Program and was commissioned on June 7, 1996. His previous assignments include serving as the communications officer aboard USS Stout (DDG 55), weapons officer aboard USS Typhoon (PC 5), first lieutenant aboard USS Ashland (LSD 48), commanding officer aboard USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), and the new Expeditionary Sea Based (ESB) warship USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4).

    Gray’s shore duty assignments include serving as the Surface Warfare Directorate’s deputy director of warfighter development; port operations officer for maritime operations; chief of staff officer of Afloat Training Group, Atlantic; and Joint Force Management coordinator division chief. His most recent assignment was as the commanding officer of the Navy Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center, also located on JEB Little Creek-Fort Story.

    Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story provides premier support and services to its resident command, military and civilian personnel, and their families to enable warfighting forces to execute their assigned mission.



    Date Taken: 06.01.2023
    Date Posted: 06.06.2023 11:18
    Story ID: 446321
    Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, US

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