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Page Title: Change of Command
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DECOMMISSIONING The decommissioning ceremony is the ceremony that terminates the active naval service of a ship. A decommissioning ceremony is not held for a ship lost at sea. This ceremony is generally a somber occasion and is far less elaborate than the ceremonies discussed earlier. As a general rule, invitations are not issued for a  decommissioning  ceremony.  A  sample  program  may be found in the  Social  Usage  and  Protocol  Handbook, OPNAV 092-P1. CHANGE OF COMMAND As  a  senior  YN,  you  will  more  than  likely  be involved with a change of command ceremony at some point  in  your  naval  career.  Invitations  for  such  an occasion  are  normally  headed  by  a  replica  of  the relieving   officer’s   personal   flag   or   a   commission pennant. A sample of the appropriate format is shown in figure 4-8. While it is equally correct to use the engraved invitation that requires the writing of the intended guests’ names, it is by no means more correct than the fully engraved invitation that “requests the pleasure of your company.” The latter creates needless work in its preparation. In   some   instances,   change   of   command   and retirement  ceremonies  are  combined.  A  properly worded invitation is shown in figure 4-9. Change of command orders to commanders and below may be The Captain, Officers, and Men of UNITED  STATES  SHIP  NEVERSAIL request the pleasure of your company at the Change of Command Ceremony at which Captain  Roy  Edward  Turner,  United  States  Navy will be relieved by Commander George Bukoski, United States Navy on Friday, the twenty second of June at ten o’clock on  board  USS  NEVERSAIL  (DD-219) pier  twelve,  United  States  Naval  Station Norfolk,  Virginia R.S.V.P. Uniform: 455-2345 Service Dress Blue Figure  4-8.-Sample  format  for  change  of  command. Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command requests  the  pleasure  of  your  company at the Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony at which Rear Admiral John Smith, United States Navy will be relieved by Rear  Admiral  Henry  Jones,  United  States  Navy on Friday, the twelfth of April at half past eleven o’clock Admiral  Leutze  Park,  Washington  Navy R.S.V.P. Uniform: 423-3245 Service Dress Blue Yard Figure 4-9.-Sample format for change of command and retirement. written using items and abbreviated titles and phrase equivalents. Steps should be taken upon receipt of such orders  to  translate  the  phrase  equivalents  into  the  proper terminology   for   use   at   the   change   of   command ceremony. It is suggested that only that portion of the orders  pertaining  to  detachment  and  reporting  to  the ultimate duty station be read at the change of command ceremony. Change of command orders to captains and above  will  not  require  translation  since  the  pertinent paragraphs will be in the proper form for use at the change of command ceremony. RETIREMENTS The retirement or transfer to the Fleet Reserve of  a  member  is  followed  by  a  ceremony  designed to  express  the  Navy’s  appreciation  for  the  many years of faithful and honorable service the member has devoted to his or her country. Invitations, if so desired by the member, to such an occasion are the member’s  responsibility.  Participation  in  a  formal ceremony  is  not  a  mandatory  requirement  for  the member.  Each  member’s  preference  in  the  matter must  be  determined  before  the  scheduled  date  of retirement  or  transfer  to  the  Fleet  Reserve.  Such ceremony  may  be  waived  upon  request  of  a member   or   in   other   instances   when,   at   the discretion  of  the  CO,  such  action  is  warranted.  In the  case  of  personnel  who  are  transferred  to  another activity for further transfer to the Fleet Reserve or the Retired List, the preseparation ceremony must be  conducted  by  the  last  permanent  duty  station  and not by the activity to which transferred. 4-10

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