Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob G. Sisco, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
Navy Region Northwest held an Assumption-of-Command ceremony in the Jack Murdock Auditorium, at the Naval Undersea Museum in Silverdale, Aug. 31.
Rear Adm. Gary Mayes, assumed command from acting commander Capt. William Bulis in a ceremony attended by more than 400 people, including Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent.
Bulis assumed command of Navy Region Northwest during a Change- of- Charge ceremony on July 22 prior to Rear Adm. Jeffrey Ruth transferring to Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia. Bulis will return to his previous duties as chief of staff for Commander, Navy Region Northwest.
The guest speaker for the event was Vice Adm. Dixon Smith, Commander, Navy Installations Command. Smith first met Mayes in 2011 in San Diego, when Mayes was the Executive Officer of Naval Base Coronado, and Smith was the Southwest Regional Commander.
“As Gary takes the helm of Navy Region Northwest I know he is the right man for the job,” said Smith. “And there is no one better suited to support our Navy mission here. I assure you that Gary’s focus will be in the best interests of the community and the Navy as he takes on this new assignment.”
Before reporting to Navy Region Northwest, Mayes was Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment. Some of his decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (5 awards), Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and many others.
“It is my privilege and honor to once again accept the mantels of command in this great Navy of ours,” said Mayes. “I can’t imagine a better region or setting after spending a week last month and the past two weeks with many of the professionals on the staff and the various commands that make up this region. With your infectious unity, synergy of effort, and tremendous enthusiasm, I am happy to say that I am proud to serve alongside the men and women of Navy Region Northwest.
Navy Region Northwest provides shore-based services to the third largest fleet concentration area in the world, including two aircraft carriers, 13 ships, 13 submarines, 92 support vessels and 115 aircraft, enabling the Fleet and supported commands to focus on their mission.