The command of Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma transferred from Capt. Steven Ramassini to Capt. Matthew Chong during a change-of-command ceremony Friday at the Coast Guard Training Center.
The commanding officer of Training Center Petaluma orchestrates the development and delivery of training to over one-third of the Coast Guard’s enlisted workforce, managing a complex training portfolio of more than 40 apprentice and continuing-education training courses that prepare new petty officers and advanced-course graduates to execute Coast Guard missions.
Ramassini commanded the training center during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, implementing successful, unit-wide mitigation measures while simultaneously increasing student graduation by utilizing novel technology solutions and initiatives.
In response to the ever-increasing wildfire threat in Sonoma County, Ramassini and his team also leveraged a coalition of U.S. Government interagency partners, which included the Department of Energy, Defense Logistics Agency and others, to award a first-ever Department of Homeland Security $48 million renewable energy micro-grid project. This project will accomplish Cabinet-level priorities toward addressing climate resilience and providing the training center with up to 10 days of power to continue the mission in the event of major power loss.
Ramassini’s next assignment is at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he will be the chief of the Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems, overseeing the primary Coast Guard programs that provide safety for mariners across the country, which includes the Coast Guard’s Aids to Navigation Division, the Navigation Standards Division and the Navigation Technology and Risk Management Division.
Chong is reporting to Petaluma from his special assignment as team leader for the Coast Guard’s Personnel Readiness Task Force. Chong spent nearly 12 years at sea, including serving as the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutters Kiska and Venturous; executive officer of Coast Guard cutters Naushon and Valiant; and deck watch officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Alert. He was also the commanding officer of Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia Relief where he commanded the Coast Guard Cutters Baranof, Aquidneck, Wrangell, Monomoy and Maui in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Chong developed a secondary specialty in human performance technology and training, and subsequently served at Training Center Petaluma earlier in his career as a lieutenant.
The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally restates to the officers and crew of the command the continuity of the authority vested in the commanding officer. This unique military ritual represents a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from one leader to the next.
The ceremony culminates when both officers read their orders, face one another and salute. This signifies to the entire command that the transfer of responsibility has formally taken place.