Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blog Posts Winding Down...

First, thank you to all the GONZALEZ Family and Friends who offered some kind words to me for keeping up our command blog every day of our three-week summer cruise which ended a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t as easy as you might think to take time to pause every day to jot down some thoughts and add a photo or two, but I enjoyed the challenge of keeping everyone up to date. The best part was that the blog caught the attention of some folks in Freddy Gonzalez’ family who I hadn’t touched base with before and other folks associated with the ship so we will have the privilege to have a few more special guests at Change of Command next week.
Change of Command is shaping up to be a very exciting day for the ship! I can’t spoil all the surprises, but we are honored once again to have Dolia Gonzalez visit us and because it’s August, you can figure Dolia’s 80th birthday will also play a very important role in the actual ceremony.

So just a little more than a week now, and I will turn over command of this magnificent warship to a new Commanding Officer. Although we have been preparing for the event for some time, I don’t think it really hit me until last week. Sailors whom we have going off to Navy schools and won’t be onboard during the Change of Command started stopping by to say their farewells. To be honest, I hadn’t even considered who wouldn’t be onboard and naturally sought out the XO to make sure I had a chance to say goodbye to any of my Sailors who I will miss next week.
Just a few quick BRAVO ZULUs to catch everyone up on good things happening on the ship:

1. BZ to our 4 Chief Selects! We set a goal of having at least 4 First Class Petty Officers select for Chief and we made our goal!
2. BZ to our Engineers who are off to great start on a busy and demanding week of Engineering Training with the Afloat Training Group.
3. BZ to our Search and Rescue Crew! We learned today that the core team of GONZALEZ Sailors who helped rescue to wayward Sailboats last November won the coveted Surface SAR Crew Award for 2008!
4. BZ to our Sailors who supported the deployment of USNS COMFORT and returned home to GONZALEZ this past weekend.
5. BZ to the GONZALEZ Chief’s Mess who organized a brand new Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification board for the crew. Every Sailor who earned their ESWS pin in the last 18 months will now see their name proudly displayed and there is room enough for every Sailor who will earn their warfare qualification from now through the ship’s next deployment.

So that’s about it for now. I plan to add just a few more posts and then I will include my Change of Command speech as my final Fighting Freddy update. - CO

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sir, will you be able to maintain this blog once you've transferred to your next shore tour?

It's been fun reading up on the latest news of your ship's company.