Change of command: Thoughts from MSC Europe and Africa’s new leader


Capt. John Rinko

Capt. John Rinko

Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa, the area command responsible for MSC ships operating in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility, welcomes new leadership today as Capt. John Rinko assumes command from Capt. Richard Soucie during a ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples in Naples, Italy. Rinko joins MSC following a tour in San Diego as the force nuclear propulsion officer at commander, Naval Air Force, Pacific. More information about Rinko’s service is available here. The following blog post shares a few thoughts from Rinko about his new command:

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

Rinko: Having commanded organizations previously, I understand the importance of logistics support to executing a mission at the unit level. Material support is necessary for each unit to maximize operational readiness and support to a mission.

In addition, there’s the leadership piece. Because I’ve held a wide variety of jobs as a leader, I’m prepared to organize and run a wide variety of organizations. I’ve recognized that each organization has its own unique mission, which must be catered to individually. I’ve also recognized the thread of similarities in all organizational structures. This experience will help me operate effectively and lead a major staff to ensure mission success.

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

Rinko: There are quite a few individuals who have influenced me throughout the years. These individuals remained operationally focused and understood that mission readiness is first and foremost in what we do. They understood the operational urgency that we tend to operate under, and they recognized that our Navy’s most importance resource is its people. When people are properly take care of, it maximizes operational effectiveness. Those who could balance the personal and professional sides of leading people were the most influential to me.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Rinko: I grew up in the rural community of Great Valley, N.Y. The Navy was not first and foremost in anyone’s vernacular. The biggest waterborne vessel I operated before I began ROTC at Union College was a canoe. But I had several uncles who were in the military, two of whom were in the Navy. I saw these uncles use the Navy as a resource to better themselves personally and professionally, and I saw them both change their lives for the better. This influenced my decision to follow the same path.

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