Change of command: Thoughts from MSC Atlantic’s new leader

Military Sealift Command Atlantic, the area command responsible for MSC ships in the Atlantic Ocean, welcomes new leadership today as Capt. Douglas A. McGoff assumed command from Capt. Dean Vesely during a ceremony aboard USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5). More information about McGoff’s service is available here. Here are a few thoughts from McGoff about his new command:

Capt. Douglas A. McGoff arrives for a change of command ceremony aboard USNS Robert E. Peary. (U.S. Navy photo by LaShawn Sykes)

Capt. Douglas A. McGoff arrives for a change of command ceremony aboard USNS Robert E. Peary. (U.S. Navy photo by LaShawn Sykes)

How has your Navy experience prepared you for command at MSCLANT?

Like many Surface Warfare Officers in our Navy, I come to MSCLANT principally with the experience as a customer for Combat Logistics Force ships – going alongside to receive food, fuel, and parts.

I did get to learn a bit about the joint high-speed vessel and mobile landing platform a few years ago as the shipbuilding and conversion programmer on the Chief of Naval Operations staff, putting the funds in place to build the ships. I’m really looking forward to seeing those vessels in action, along with the vast array of other vessels within MSC, from tugs to roll-on, roll-off ships (ROROs).

Mostly, though, command is about being able to work with people, to maintain or build an effective team, and to work together towards common goals, whether you’re in charge of one ship or dozens. And, of course, I’ve had an opportunity to meet with many of the very experienced people working within MSCLANT and MSC Headquarters, and look forward to continuing to build upon the great teamwork that has been developed already between our organizations.

As a Navy leader, who is your role model and why?

I’ve served under too many great leaders to try to list individual names for my role models. I’ve learned something from everyone I’ve served for, and many I’ve served alongside with or been the supervisor for, military and civilian. Some of the lessons taught me what to do, and some showed me what NOT to do.   I’d say that I don’t try to pattern myself or my leadership style after any one person, but rather try to take the best traits from many.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I like to dance and I’ve been learning to dance country two-step and salsa. I didn’t say I’m good at it – I just said that I like it.

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