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Commander Gerald Nauert honored in Change of Command Ceremony Featured

Commander Deas shaking hands with Commander Nauert as Captain Crabbs looks on

On Saturday, Sept. 21, at 10:30 a.m. the United States Coast Guard Port Security Unit 309 held its Change of Command Ceremony at their facility in Lake Erie Business Park. Outgoing commander Gerald Nauert was relieved of his command and received his new orders and Commander Geoffrey Deas assumed command of Port Security Unit 309.

Chief Coast Guard Pacific Area Operations Captain Thomas Crabbs, USCG, led the ceremony, thanking the crew of the 309 for their sacrifice and commitment as patriots. Captain Crabbs also thanked Commander Nauert for his outstanding service, leadership and stellar performance that have contributed to the success of 309. Captain Crabbs said that Deas’ professionalism and leadership are inspiring and these traits will continue to advance this great unit.

Next Commander Gerald Nauert took the podium to give his remarks on his service. Commander Nauert said that during his service there were many family events that were missed, but many friendships were strengthened because many of his comrades were going through the same things. He then gave thanks to his friends in the unit and thanks to the crew saying the level of professionalism and skill in this crew is nothing short of phenomenal. Thanks were also given to his family, his wife Monica and daughter Constance. He also thanked the rest of his family for what they did for his family while he was away. 

Commander Nauert also spoke about the importance of the Lighthouse Conservancy, a group that he is a part of. The conservancy recently came to an agreement with the city on the placement of the lighthouse. In preserving the lighthouse, the history of the Coast Guard is also preserved, Commander Nauert said. 

Commander Nauert also had something to say to incoming Commander Deas, “You are inheriting the best that there is. Take care of them because they will take care of you.” The outgoing commander ended his remarks with a quote that was quite fitting for the ceremony, “Don’t cry because you’re leaving, smile because you were here.”

Commander Nauert and Commander Deas next each read their new orders and the Relief of Command took place that officially made Commander Deas the new commander of Port Security Unit 309.

Next new Commander Deas took the podium to give his remarks. Commander Deas said that he was honored and humbled by taking on the responsibility of PSU 309. “I have some big shoes to fill,” Commander Deas said paying homage to the newly relieved Commander Nauert. Commander Deas also thanked his family and the families of PSU 309 for their continuous support.  Happy to be in Port Clinton and part of the community, Commander Deas later said that the Coast Guard has a great history along the Great Lakes and he wants to continue that tradition. In closing, Chaplin Plummer gave a closing prayer. He asked that Commander Deas have humble and quiet strength in his leadership. 

The PSU 309 is mostly reliant on reservists and Commander Deas encouraged community members to come learn about the Coast Guard and to tour the facilities. For more information or to arrange a tour, www.uscg.mil/lantarea/psu309  or call 419.635.4462.

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