Newport, R.I. – Rear Adm. Pete Garvin relieved Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield as president of the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) during a change of command ceremony held onboard Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, June 23.
Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, an alumnus of NWC, presided over the change of command ceremony and served as guest speaker.
“I couldn’t be more pleased that Rear Adm. Chatfield has been nominated to represent our Nation with honor and distinction as the U.S. Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee,” said Secretary Del Toro. “And while today is a bittersweet day for Rear Adm. Chatfield and her family, they can rest assured that their beloved school is in great hands with her relief. Rear Adm. Garvin, we are excited to have you onboard, and I have no doubt you are eager to get to work as the 58th President of the Naval War College.”
In her remarks, Chatfield highlighted the integral role an NWC education plays in the development of strong, capable leaders.
“Education isn't something that you do during a gap year between sea duty,” remarked Chatfield. “For a large enterprise like ours, education is an essential part of human capital development.”
NWC provides professional military education programs as a graduate-level institution, meant to develop students’ ability to anticipate and prepare strategically for the future, strengthen the foundations of peace, and create a decisive warfighting advantage.
The college also conducts research, analysis and wargaming to support the requirements of the Navy, combatant commanders, the U.S. intelligence community and other departments and agencies of the U.S. Government.
Chatfield also recalled the resiliency of the college through the COVID-19 pandemic as a significant source of pride during her tenure as president.
“Our connection to this college deepened through our collective response to COVID,” said Chatfield. “Every person assigned contributed to this success and you should be rightfully proud of this accomplishment.”
During the pandemic, Chatfield oversaw the successful transition of the college’s education and research programs to virtual and hybrid formats. For these efforts, NWC was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation.
At the close of her remarks, Chatfield announced the creation of the Daniel J. Curran Award for Outstanding Professional in Physical Security, to honor the service, dedication and legacy of its namesake, a U.S. Army veteran and member of the NWC security team who passed away in April 2021. The annual award will be presented to a security professional who exemplifies outstanding dedication, service, and professional excellence.
During the ceremony, Chatfield also presented Del Toro with the NWC Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award, which recognizes the college’s most distinguished graduates who have attained positions of leadership and prominence in the field of national security.
Garvin thanked Chatfield and outlined his priorities as president moving forward: maintaining an adaptive curriculum, fostering intellectual curiosity, supporting partners and allies, and cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment.
“Together, we will build upon the strong foundation of the Naval War College, innovating and adapting to meet the challenges ahead,” said Garvin. “I am deeply honored to serve as president and look forward to working alongside every one of you in pursuit of excellence, knowledge, and a more secure future.”
Garvin is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and most recently served as commander of Naval Education and Training Command in Pensacola, Florida.
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