By USS RONALD REAGAN Public Affairs
Rear Adm. Patrick A. Piercey relieved Rear Adm. Patrick D. Hall as commander of Carrier Strike Group Nine (CSG-9) during a change of command ceremony held aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Aug. 14.
During the ceremony, Hall, a native of Uvalde, Texas, retired from active duty after 32 years of honorable naval service. He assumed command of CSG-9 in October 2012 and successfully led USS Ronald Reagan, Carrier Air Wing Two, and Destroyer Squadron Nine through a series of work up periods in preparation for the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.
As a member of the RIMPAC Executive Steering Committee, he helped improve the design and implementation of the 24th iteration of the Navy’s largest, multi-national exercise. Additionally, as Commander of Task Force 170, he led 10 ships from seven countries through the full spectrum of military operations over the course of the exercise.
“It has been my distinct honor to command one of just nine carrier strike groups in the world’s most powerful navy. In my opinion, I was given the best strike group,” Hall said. “Furthermore, I believe it is clear that I was given the tremendous opportunity to work with the very best warfare commanders in the fleet. These incredible leaders understand what it means to prepare, train and lead Sailors. Any one of them could have taken my place at any time, and a few of them will in the not-too-distant future.”
Hall reflected on his career while thanking his family, mentors, peers and Sailors for their support, “I would like to recognize the incredible men and women who have worked for and with me over the years. It is clear that I would not be standing before you now if it weren’t for their sacrifices and humbling dedication in service to our country. I am beyond grateful.”
The Commander of U.S Third Fleet, Vice Adm. Kenneth E. Floyd, served as the guest speaker for the ceremony. Floyd spoke about Hall’s strong leadership and impact upon the 6,000 Sailors under his command.
“The sheer variety of challenges that [Hall] led this strike group through is just amazing. And the fact that he was so successful in meeting that wide array of challenges really speaks to [Hall’s] versatility and leadership. There was uncertainty. There were strained resources, but Monty Hall worked and led to make sure his people had what they needed to succeed.”
“All you need to do is look at the jobs Monty has had and the commands he has led,” said Floyd. “It is staggering to think of how many people succeeded because of Monty Hall’s leadership, his mentorship, his friendship. That is the true measure of Monty’s career, and as he and Gail begin the next chapter of their lives, the positive impact of their service will continue far into the future as the young Sailors of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group grow to lead our Navy in the years ahead.”
Floyd presented Hall with the Legion of Merit Award recognizing him for his exceptional meritorious service to the government of the United States.
Piercey assumes command of CSG-9 after serving as the Deputy Director of Plans, Policy and Strategy at the United States European Command.
Floyd emphasized, “You will quickly see that Pat Piercey is an exceptional and talented leader. He has excelled in command at sea on both USS Howard (DDG 83) and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52). In addition to being awesome on the deckplates, his assignments ashore will tell you that no one has a better sense of the big strategic picture than Pat. He is ready to take the reins and get the Ronald Reagan Strike Group ready for the next challenge.”
Piercey remarked, “I stand before you humbled. Humbled to be granted the opportunity to lead this magnificent strike group. These young men and women, these Sailors who stand around you. These defenders of our great nation. They are our Navy’s lifeblood. They are our Navy’s soul.”
“And for Strike Group Nine, their commander, Monty Hall, gave all of his heart, gave all of his soul, to forge these young men and women into a fighting force. Thank you for your passion. Thank you for giving everything – everything to make this strike group, these Sailors, truly worthy of our distinguished heritage. As I join Strike Group Nine, I, too, hope to prove as worthy.”
Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship is named for the 40th U.S. president, and its motto, “Peace through Strength” was a recurring theme during the Reagan presidency.
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