Rear Adm. Kevin S. Cook relieved Rear Adm. Roy A. Nash as commander of the 8th Coast Guard District during an official change-of-command ceremony at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Thursday.
Cook is coming from the Coast Guard Atlantic Area in Portsmouth, Va., where he was the deputy commander. At the time of his flag officer selection, Cook was serving as chief of staff for the Thirteenth Coast Guard District, Seattle. Subsequent flag assignments include director of the Operations Command Implementation Team in Portsmouth, Va., and director of Prevention Policy in Washington, D.C.
Nash assumed command of the 8th District in June 2011 and retired as both the 8th District commander and as an active duty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. As district commander, Nash was in charge of more than 100 units with 4,045 active duty and reserve members and an area of responsibility covering all or part of 26 states.
Cook, who is a native of Freehold, N.J., graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1979 with a degree in ocean engineering. Cook also earned a master’s in chemical engineering from Princeton University. He is a 1999 graduate of the U.S. Army War College. In 2003, he was appointed as the Coast Guard Fellow to Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group.
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr. presided over the ceremony and presented Nash with a Certificate of Appreciation from President Obama.
The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and Naval history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command. The ceremony is witnessed by all members so that they all know exactly when the transfer takes place.