Two years and three days ago, Commander Christopher Bownds was appointed to the position of Naval Technical Training Center commanding officer. Now his duties have been fulfilled and he is looking to what lies ahead.
"I'm going to the Pentagon. I'm going to work for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve," said Bownds. "Basically, Navy HR at the higher levels, working directly for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy."
Bownds made a lot of strides in his short time at NAS Meridian. Thousands of active duty sailors trained under his watch. His community service programs were, to say the least, award winning.
"We were awarded the USS Bainbridge Award, which is the highest award for community service," said Bownds. "And we were proud to receive it and I was proud of my team for having done everything to make it possible."
As Commander Bownds leaves, newly appointed C.O. Shane Harris steps in to replace him.
During the ceremony held in the Navy Operational Support Center, Commander Harris uttered the traditional, "I relieve you, sir!" followed by Bownds response, "I stand relieved."
Commander Harris reports to Meridian from his most recent assignment as executive assistant to Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.
"I'm starting at a very high level and there is not a whole lot to improve," said Harris. "I'll smooth a few things out here and there. But Commander Bownds was former leader of my community and led us into great things. And I am blessed to be here, taking over this command. "