Cmdr. Jeremy Greenwood relieved Cmdr. Malcolm Belt as the commanding officer of USCGC Legare (WMEC 912), during a formal change of command ceremony at the unit, Tuesday.
Capt. Brian Anderson, chief of operations for the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, presided over the ceremony.
“When cuttermen talk about how much they love going to sea, it is not only the beautiful sunsets, going too far off lands, or the sea stories of battling storms, saving lives, and busting bad guys that fuel their passions,” Belt. “That is not what fuels a cutterman’s passion. It is not what fuel’s my passion for this crew and this ship. More than anything, it is the crew and the people you serve with while doing all those things which truly capture the heart of a cutterman. Legare you have captured my heart, I am extremely proud of you and honored to have been able to watch you do it all.”
Belt will report for duty as the Naval Engineering Department head at Base Charleston. Of note, during Belt’s time on the Legare, he and his crew completed four patrols in the Eastern Pacific and one in the Caribbean, supporting District Eleven, District Seven, and Joint Interagency Task Force South in combating the trafficking of illicit narcotics on the high seas. During the 2020 Eastern Pacific deployment, Belt and his crew supported the U.S. Navy’s 4th Fleet as the sole U.S. Coast Guard asset in UNITAS LXI, the longest-running annual international cooperative military exercise, off the coast of Manta, Ecuador.
Belt reported to the Legare after serving as the Coast Guard detachment lead at the U.S. Navy’s commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Forces in Norfolk, Virginia. His afloat tours include USCGC Northland (WMEC 904), USCGC Forward (WMEC 911), and USCGC Gallatin (WHEC 721). Other shoreside tours include Surface Forces Logistics Center, Small Boat Product Line; Surface Force Logistics Center, Icebreaker, Buoy, and Construction Tender Product Line; Coast Guard Headquarters, Office of Naval Engineering (CG-45) and Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, Vessel Repair Division. Belt is a 2002 U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduate with two master’s degrees in engineering from the University of Michigan.
Greenwood is arriving from Washington, D.C., where he served as a Federal Executive Fellow at The Brookings Institution. He was a part of the Coast Guard’s Senior Education and Fellowship program. Greenwood has published extensively on Coast Guard operations and their impact on U.S. foreign relations.
Greenwood graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2004. Following the Coast Guard Academy, he served aboard the USCGC Jarvis (WHEC 725) in Honolulu. Greenwood also received a Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans with a specialty certificate in admiralty law. He is a member in good standing of the Florida State Bar, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Jeremy, Legare is going to be 32 years old in just a few months,” Belt added. “The prime of her life for a Coast Guard cutter, maybe perhaps a little over the hill. And this crew is, in my biased opinion, the best you will ever have. They will serve the country, the Coast Guard, the ship, and you well. I know you will do the same for them.”
This change of command comes at the heels of a very successful patrol in the Eastern Pacific. Legare crew worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and other partner nation agencies to interdict over $171 million of illicit narcotics. During this deployment, the crew patrolled over 19,500 miles, stopped six go-fast vessels with over 13,500 lbs of illegal narcotics, and detained 17 smugglers. Legare’s team also demonstrated the service’s multi-mission capability and assisted eight Colombian fishers whose vessel was adrift more than 100 nautical miles from shore.
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and formal ritual conducted before the assembled company of a command to confirm to the unit’s men and women that the authority of command is maintained. The ceremony is a transfer of total responsibility, authority, and accountability from one individual to another.