NEW ORLEANS - Rear Adm. Roy A. Nash retired as commander of the 8th Coast Guard District during an official change of command ceremony at the National World War II Museum Thursday.<br /> <br /> A native of Clifton Park, N.Y., Rear Adm. Nash is a 1979 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy. Nash also holds a Master of Science degree in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. <br /> <br /> Rear Adm. Nash assumed command of the 8th District in June 2011. <br /> <br /> As district commander, Nash was in charge of more than 100 units with 4,045 active duty and reserve members and an area of responsibility covering all or part of 26 states. <br /> <br /> Prior to this assignment he served as special assistant to the deputy commandant for operations, following several months as deputy federal on-scene coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. His first Flag assignment was deputy director of the National Maritime Intelligence Center.<br /> <br /> His previous staff assignments include chief of staff of the 13th<br /> Coast Guard District, executive assistant to the Coast Guard assistant commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection; assignment officer for the<br /> Marine Safety program; and staff engineer at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center and Coast Guard Headquarters.<br /> <br /> Rear Adm. Nash’s command assignments include Commander, Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England; commanding officer of the Marine Safety Center, Washington, D.C.; commanding officer of Marine Safety Office Portland, Maine, and executive officer of Marine Safety Office Charleston, S.C.<br /> <br /> His military decorations include the Legion of Merit (4), Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal (2), Coast Guard Commendation Medal (4), Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and various unit and team awards.<br /> <br /> U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. presided over the ceremony and presented Nash with a certificate of appreciation from President Barack Obama.<br /> <br /> The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and naval history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command. The ceremony is witnessed by all members so that they all know exactly when the transfer takes place.