By Seaman Tiana Coots, USS Constitution Public Affairs
USS Constitution held a change of command ceremony at Pier One of the Charlestown Navy Yard Friday, November 3.
Cmdr. Nathaniel R. Shick relieved Cmdr. Robert S. Gerosa, Jr. as Commanding Officer of USS Constitution.
Capt. Paul M. Esposito, (Retired), gave the ceremony’s keynote address.
Esposito presented Gerosa with the Meritorious Service Medal as an end-of-tour award. Gerosa attributed the award to the hard work and support of the USS Constitution Sailors and leaders.
“Being the 74th Commanding Officer of USS Constitution has been the greatest privilege and highest honor in my entire military career,” said Gerosa. “No rank or medal could top this ship, its crew, and all of you will stay with me and my family till the end of my days.”
The ceremony marked the end of Gerosa’s first tour as a commanding officer. Gerosa recalled the challenges faced, lessons learned, and achievements made by the men and women who make up the USS Constitution crew, before reading the orders relieving him of command.
“There was no challenge never met, no job undone, or anything you didn’t accomplish,” said Gerosa. “You are shipmates.”
Upon assuming command, Shick recognized Gerosa’s hard work and leadership through his appreciation of the overhaul that USS Constitution underwent while in dry dock for just over two years.
“Commander Gerosa and our team of partners did a superb job executing the arduous task of refurbishment and revitalization,” said Shick. “Constitution stands ready for sea duty once again due to the exceptional craftsmanship of devoted professionals and the determined labors of her crew.”
I could not ask for a finer ship or crew; I know we will continue to do great things together,” said Shick. “I am humbled in her presence and am awed to stand amongst such august company. With determination and much enthusiasm, I accept the charge of command as her 75th commanding officer.”
Prior to arriving at USS Constitution, Shick served as the operations officer for Afloat Training Group Atlantic.