Before the ceremony, a small reception was held in the ship's wardroom. It was the first time I saw Hans in his dress uniform, complete with ribbons and medals. When I saw him, I got very emotional. He looked just awesome! He introduced me to the Commodore and the outgoing Commanding Officer.
I have never seen so much brass!
The outgoing Commanding Officer giving his farewell speech.
The ceremony lasted about an hour. It began with a welcome from the Executive Officer, the presentation of the colors, followed by the singing of both the Japanese and American national anthems. By the way, the female vocalist had an awesome voice! After the invocation, the Commodore spoke and then both the outgoing Commanding Officer and Hans gave speeches. Hans was eloquent! The conclusion was both the outgoing CO and Hans reading their new orders. All in all, it was very impressive. There were perhaps a hundred in attendance. A reception followed the ceremony in another place on the base.
This photo was taken after the conclusion of the ceremony. The kids need a little work on their salutes, but I think they're cute anyway!
A family photo