By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cory Asato, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash (NNS) — Rear Adm. Jeffrey S. Ruth, a Key West, Fla. native, relieved Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, a Honolulu native, as commander, Navy Region Northwest during a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap’s (NBK) Bangor Plaza, July 21.
Ruth assumed command of the Navy’s 3rd largest fleet concentration area.
The northwest region, based out of NBK Bangor includes the major installations of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Naval Station Everett, Naval Base Kitsap, and Naval Magazine Indian Island; in conjunction with base operating support functions encompassing the six-state area of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.
Navy Band Northwest performed Hawaii’s state anthem, “Hawai’i Pono’i,” and a shortened rendition of Israel “Iz” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole’s “Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” at the request of Bolivar, who is known throughout her career to continually pay homage to her home of Hawaii.
Vice Adm. William French, commander, Navy Installations Command, awarded Bolivar with the Legion of Merit for her performance at the helm of the northwest region.
“This award is a direct reflection of my region family who’ve been hard chargers from the day I first arrived, through [Ruth] assuming command,” said Bolivar.
Bolivar presented the region with a framed Legion of Merit stating her time with the region from “June 2013 – July 2014” and Bolivar’s catchphrase of “Hoo Yah Team Northwest.”
French made note of Bolivar’s progression from region commander, to commander Joint Region Marians, based in Guam, as he also served in both positions sequentially.
Ruth recently relinquished his position as commanding officer of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) to become the newest commander of Navy Region Northwest.
Bolivar noted her departure from her Northwest family as bittersweet as she left parting words to those who could not make the ceremony.
“I can only hope that you embrace [Ruth] in the same way you have accepted me. Thank you for your friendship, your expertise, your mentorship,” said Bolivar. “HOO YAH — and keep chargin’ Team Northwest!”