By USS Oscar Austin Public Affairs
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) held a change of command ceremony during a scheduled port visit to Brest, France, Oct. 11, 2017.
Cmdr. Samantha Dutily relieved Cmdr. Janice Smith to become Oscar Austin’s 12th commanding officer since its commissioning in 1998.
The ceremony marked the end of a successful 17-month assignment for Smith in which she commanded Oscar Austin during a basic phase training cycle, an integrated training phase, a deployment work-up cycle, a Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) assessment and a 7-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th fleet areas of operation.
As Smith reflected on her time as commanding officer, she emphasized the significant contributions the well-trained crew of Oscar Austin made to accomplish the ship’s mission.
“I am humbled and deeply honored to have had the opportunity to command this mighty warship” said Smith. “The great successes of USS Oscar Austin are a direct reflection of the steadfast commitment and unwavering dedication of her crew. Oscar Austin Sailors are resilient, they are tough, and they get the job done!
Smith has served as Oscar Austin's Commanding Officer since May of 2016 and will serve her next tour at Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5.
Dutily, who previously served as Oscar Austin’s executive officer, received her degree in Business Management from Regis College in Weston, MA in 1997 and was commissioned in the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in 2000.
"I am excited to take the reins as Captain and lead my Oscar Austin family in support of future missions and exercises,” said Dutily. “The ship’s reputation precedes itself, and I am proud to be working alongside some of the Navy's best and brightest men and women."
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition conducted before the assembled company of Sailors to announce the passing of command authority. It is a transfer, in an instant, of total responsibility, authority, and accountability from one individual to another.
Following the port visit to Brest, Oscar Austin will continue its patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.