Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes held a change of command in a small ceremony following COVID-19 guidelines in the commanding officer conference room May 22.
Capt. Pat Sutton relieved Capt. David Dwyer as commanding officer. Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, commander, Naval Education and Training Command, was the featured speaker via video conference call.
“Congratulations to Capt. Dwyer for a phenomenal tour and to the entire TSC Great Lakes team for all the incredible work that you do every day in supporting the critical mission of training, developing and mentoring students to prepare them for service in the fleet,” Cozad said. “The ongoing development of our Sailors here on this leg of their professional journey pays off in countless ways throughout their careers. Thank you for everything that you do, and to Capt. Dwyer, thank you for your leadership.”
Dwyer was presented with the President of the United States’ Legion of Merit medal recognizing him for his exceptional meritorious service to the government of the United States.
Dwyer’s leadership of more than 355 military and civilian staff was essential to the “Sailorization” and 100 percent mission readiness of more than 26,000 Sailors at the Navy’s largest Enlisted Surface Warfare Training Command. His efforts increased sound decision-making, fostered an environment of peer mentorship, and increased volunteer efforts within the local community, while increasing overall quality of life and morale.
His drive and support in the Navy’s fight against sexual assault has kept TSC Great Lakes at the forefront of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response education and awareness. His concern for the morale and welfare of his staff and students guided the implementation of the TSC Mentorship Program, the Navy Military Training Academy, and the Talent Management Program, setting the standard within the Naval Education and Training Command domain. These programs, coupled with streamlining the administrative separations process, which expedited separations of Sailors by 40 percent, saving the Navy 2.3 million dollars.
Additionally, TSC Great Lakes earned the Navy Total Force Retention and the Naval Education and Training Command Training Support Excellence functional awards.
“To the exceptionally talented civilian and Navy staff members, I truly appreciate all the hard work and dedication you demonstrated every day,” Dwyer said. “Working alongside you daily was truly my pleasure and I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had to serve you as your commanding officer. The mission that you execute day-to-day is extremely important and valued by me and our leadership. Although we have been asked recently to modify our normal routine in order to support the mission during the corona virus outbreak, you have performed exceptionally well during some adverse conditions and it has been a pleasure to witness. Even with obstacles and unique challenges thrown your way, you always found a way to deliver – I truly admire appreciate you for that.
“To our ombudsman and family members who supported the TSC team, thank you for all of your support. I had an opportunity to meet most of you and I appreciate the tireless support you provided to your TSC team member.
“To the support cast of leadership onboard Naval Station Great Lakes – especially the base and learning sites leadership, I appreciate all of the dedication and support you provide me and the TSC team during my tour. It was certainly a great team effort and thank you for all that you do towards delivering our Sailors with the highest caliber of training to the fleet.
“Lastly, to my relief Capt. Pat Sutton, congratulations for taking command of TSC Great Lakes. I know you will enjoy a very rewarding tour – wishing you and your family the very best.”
Sutton, a native of St. Simons Island, Georgia, enlisted in the Navy in 1987. He was commissioned via the limited duty officer (LDO) program in June 1999. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Studies from University of Maryland University College and graduated from the University of Management and Technology with a Master of Science in Project Management.
Sutton’s enlisted service tours include as an electronics technician aboard USS Saipan (LHA 2), Naval Air Station Pensacola, and CE division leading chief petty officer aboard USS Donald Cook (DDG 75).
His commissioned service included tours aboard USS Russell (DDG 59), Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Sicily, USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), USS Carney (DDG 64), Southeast Regional Maintenance Center, Navy Personnel Command, USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77), Training Support Center San Diego, and Navy Munitions Command Atlantic Unit Charleston.
“I had the privilege of working for Capt. Dwyer as a detailer, so I knew coming up here that I would find TSC Great Lakes executing the mission and taking care of Sailors in the best of form,” Sutton said. “What I can now appreciate is the vastness of our mission and how impactful our work here is to the fleet. I’m impressed with the professionalism and purpose expressed by each of our staff members as I’ve learned how we carry out the development and care of our Navy’s newest Sailors. With this team, our combined leadership, and guidance and support of the NETC staff, I look forward to continuing to move the ball down the field, while maintaining a great place to come to work, and flexing to our ever-changing environment. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve with each of you.”
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