By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice William Blees, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
BREMERTON, Wash – Navy Region Northwest held a change of command ceremony on Naval Base Kitsap at the Bremerton Gymnasium, June 14.
Rear Adm. Mark Rich was relieved by Rear Adm. (select) Bette Bolivar.
“Mark placed his priorities in taking care of people,” said guest speaker Vice Adm. William French, Commander, Navy Installations Command. “Mark Rich and the Navy Northwest team did this and did it well.”
Rich was recognized for several accomplishments during his tour, including: managing an annual budget of more than $470 million during fiscally challenging times; leading environmental stewardship projects that resulted in improved resource management and multiple national awards; and in actively engaging Northwest media, government officials and community members, strengthening key relationships and the Navy’s Pacific Northwest operating environment.
Before being relieved of command, Rich thanked his team for their work and dedication.
“Everyone in the Northwest command has shed blood, sweat and tears, and I thank you for it,” said Rich.
Before stepping down he shared some words with Bolivar.
“You are the right person, at the right place, in the right time,” said Rich. “The Pacific Northwest is more unique than most.”
Bolivar took the podium after Rich and addressed the audience.
“I know I have some big shoes to fill, literally, but you can rest assured you left Navy Region Northwest in the right hands,” said Bolivar. I am extremely proud and excited to take command today … thank you for the warm welcome.”
Navy Region Northwest encompasses six states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Alaska. It is the Navy’s third largest fleet concentration area with approximately 23,000 active duty Sailors, 17,000 DoD civilian employees, 6,000 reservists, 40,000 family members and 35,000 Navy retirees.