Military Sealift Command Pacific Welcomes New Commander, Captain Brett Hershman

Military Sealift Command Pacific (MSCPAC) welcomes its new leader, Capt. Brett Hershman, following a change of command ceremony at the Navy Submarine Base, Point Loma, Calif. Hershman assumed command from Capt. David Dry, who has served as commander of MSCPAC since 2015.

Hershman joins the MSC team following a position with Future Amphibious Ships/New Construction OPNAV N953.

A native of Norfolk, Neb., Hershman enlisted in the Navy in 1987 and was commissioned a Surface Warfare Officer in 1995.  His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Italian Language from the University of San Diego, a Master of Science in Global Business Leadership from the University of San Diego School of Business Administration, and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.  He is also a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College.

Hershman has served on a variety of ships at sea including in command of  USS Ashland (LSD 48) and USS Tortuga (LSD 46) and as Executive Officer of USS Arlington (LPD 24). He also served on USS Tarawa (LHA 1), USS Comstock (LSD 45), Amphibious Squadron 4/Nassau Amphibious Ready Group, USS Anzio (CG 68), USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), and USS Wasp (LHD 1). He served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, Operation Allied Force in Kosovo, and Operations Desert Shield/Storm.  Ashore, he has served as Section Head and Requirements Officer for Future Amphibious Ships on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N953), as Director of Fleet Management, U.S. Sixth Fleet, as Executive Assistant and Maritime Planner to the Director, Standing Joint Force Headquarters, U.S. Northern Command, as well as NROTC, University of San Diego, Naval Security Group Chesapeake, Va., Naval Support Activity Manamah, Bahrain, and Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily.

Hershman relieves Dry, who since assuming command, has overseen a wide range of operations and exercises, including two Operation Deep Freeze resupply missions to Antarctica, two deployments of hospital ship USNS Mercy in support of Pacific Partnership humanitarian assistance mission and the 2016 Rim of the Pacific exercise.

Dry will report to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he will serve as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy.

Capt. Brett Hershman (Right) and Capt. David Dry (Left) cut the cake at the reception following the Military Sealift Command Pacific Change of Command ceremony. Hershman relives Dry as commodore of MSCPAC, who assumed command in 2015. (Photo by Sarah E. Burford, MSCPAC Public Affairs)

Capt. Brett Hershman (Right) and Capt. David Dry (Left) cut the cake at the reception following the Military Sealift Command Pacific Change of Command ceremony. Hershman relives Dry as commodore of MSCPAC, who assumed command in 2015. (Photo by Sarah E. Burford, MSCPAC Public Affairs)


Sitting down with Capt. Brett Hershman

Q1. How has your Navy experience prepared you for command at MSCPAC?


A1. As a surface warfare officer, I’ve spent many hours alongside MSC ships as a customer, but that really just scratches the surface of what MSC does as a whole. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with several other elements of MSC in the past: The Mobile Landing Platform (T-ESD) and the Expeditionary Mobile Base (T-ESB) programs in the Pentagon, and I worked closely with Military Sealift Command Europe/Africa on Partnership Station missions and other operational support when I was in the Operations shop at Sixth Fleet. I was also assigned to United States Northern Command when SBX-1 was coming online. Those tours impressed upon me the unique and varied missions MSC carries out every day around the world and I’ve always kept MSC on my short list of future tours to try and secure. Now I’m fortunate enough to join MSCPAC and be a part of the entire mission spectrum, which I’m very excited about.


Q2. What is your vision for MSCPAC while serving as Commodore?


A2. Continued and persistent support to our customers: The global warfighters. All while remembering that we are warfighters too. The playing field has changed and we have to keep challenging ourselves to operate in contested environments, relearn skill sets that used to be second nature, and realize that our Navy and nation demand a level of preparedness from us on par with our carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups. Nowhere is this more relevant than in the Pacific theater, and the men and women of MSCPAC – both uniformed and civilian – must realize that we are much more than simply force providers. As CTF-33 in particular, we play a key role in United States Pacific Command (PACOM) and Commander Pacific Fleet’s (PACFLT) ability to generate forces across the entire theater if needed. We need to keep that in mind in everything we do.


Q3. As a Navy leader, who is your role model and why?


A3. It’s impossible to name just one, but the role models I have gravitated towards and learned the most from over the last 30 years all shared three common traits: Adherence to standards, ownership of everything under their charge, and an understanding that trust is the greatest virtue we possess. If you follow the established standard, you’re doing it right. If it’s yours, own it and make it the best it can possibly be (by adhering to the standard), and never do anything to cause your seniors or subordinates to lose trust in you. Once you are deemed untrustworthy, you are useless to the organization. That’s how I operate… standards, ownership and trust.


Q4. What would people be surprised to learn about you?


A4.  My first eight years in the Navy I was an enlisted Journalist (JO, now Mass Communications Specialist ) and my first assignment was as a disc jockey on Armed Forces Radio in Sigonella, Sicily. That tour was where I developed my love of Italy and the Italian language, which eventually led me to studying it here in San Diego at University of San Diego where I met my wife who was also studying Italian. The rest, they say, is history… very glad I received those orders way back then.



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