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By Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs
Rear Adm. Michael J. Steffen relieved Rear Adm. John A. Schommer as commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC) during a change of command ceremony at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, July 11.
Vice Adm. John B Mustin, Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander, Navy Reserve Force, was the guest speaker at the ceremony, and he spoke highly of Schommer’s selfless service.
“We are aggressively modernizing our Navy Reserve force to address today’s global environment. We’re building new capabilities, we’re shifting capacity, and our force to meet the needs of long term strategic competition,” Mustin said. “We recognize the need to transform, to make hard decisions, to prioritize what matters, and to shed legacy processes, force structure, and expectations, with urgency to prepare for the future. Dual-hatted as both Deputy Commander, Navy Reserve Force, and Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command, Rear Adm. Schommer has been front and center during these modernization efforts.”
Mustin also welcomed Steffen to the command and thanked the CNRFC staff for their dedication.
“You’ve heard me say before that we have much to be proud of as a Navy Reserve force, and yet we still have much to do,” said Mustin. “I’m going to depend on you and your team to execute the changes that are already underway, as well as many that are yet to come.”
Schommer addressed the CNRFC staff about the impact they made on the Navy Reserve force under his command.
“It has been the greatest honor of my life to have had the privilege of leading the officers, chiefs, sailors, and civilians of Navy Reserve Forces Command,” said Schommer. “To our Sailors: your honor, courage, and commitment inspired me every day. You are the advantage we have over our strategic competitors.”
The change of command ceremony doubled as Schommer’s retirement after 33 years of service to the Navy, a period of service which encompassed the Cold War, the Global War on Terror and the current global strategic competition.
In his closing remarks, Schommer urged Navy Reserve Sailors to redouble their efforts to stay ready for the potential for global conflict looming just over the horizon.
“We are preparing and training for war. It is why our Navy and Navy Reserve exist,” said Schommer. “It is what our nation expects of us. Urgency. Every day, we need to have a sense of urgency that our Navy Reserve is ready to go to war. At CNRFC, our work must be to build warfighting and mobilization readiness. I am proud of the transformation we have accomplished as a team, and there is no better leader than Adm. Mike Steffen to drive our Navy Reserve and CNRFC forward. Welcome aboard, Mike.”
Steffen takes his new post following his flag assignment as commandant, Naval District Washington. After relieving Schommer, Steffen spoke about his predecessor and about the command impact of his leadership. “I would like to enthusiastically thank Rear Adm. Schommer for turning over such a fantastic team. Under your watch Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command has flourished. Thank you so much for everything that you have done, and our very best wishes for your well-deserved retirement.”
Steffen also had some motivational words for his new team.
“To the CNRFC staff I say, I look forward to serving you all,” he said. “I am confident that we are extremely well positioned to continue to build upon our reputation for excellence. In the words of Vice Adm. Mustin, ‘Let’s get busy!’”
CNRFC is the Navy Reserve headquarters responsible for readiness, oversight, manpower management, logistics, financial management, mobilization and training of nearly 60,000 Sailors in executing operational support and war fighting missions. The mission of the Navy Reserve is to provide strategic depth and deliver operational capabilities to the Navy and Marine Corps team and Joint forces, in times of peace or war.
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