Surface Warfare Officers School Command (SWOS) held a change of command ceremony at Weakley Hall Auditorium onboard Naval Station Newport, April 12.

Capt. Christopher Alexander relieved Capt. Scott Robertson as commanding officer of the “Center for Excellence” for surface warfare.

Robertson, who served as SWOS’s commanding officer since September 2016, was recognized for his outstanding leadership in training officers and enlisted Sailors who man and fight the Navy’s fleet of surface ships. 

“Capt. Scott Robertson is the example of a surface warrior,” said Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces/Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, who served as the guest speaker. “He has the warfighting ethos and embraced it as the commanding officer of SWOS and brought it to every student whether it be an ensign or a captain.”

Robertson focused on the school’s mission during his tenure at SWOS to prepare sea-bound warriors to serve on surface combatants as officers and enlisted engineers and navigation professionals.

“We work diligently to train warfighters and intelligently apply state-of-the-art technology in classrooms and trainers,” said Robertson. “We are warriors who go to sea in ships to defend our nation, and we are the keepers of the essence of our great Navy and the maintainers of freedom throughout the world.”

Over his 31 months in command, Robertson improved mariner skills of the surface force in the wake of the summer 2017 collisions and the chief of naval operations-directed Comprehensive Review. 

“Our dedicated professionals took ownership of addressing knowledge gaps and furthermore, identified and brought to fruition a new voyage plan to deliver mariner and warfighting competency,” said Robertson. 

He advanced the restoration and modernization of enlisted naval engineering and navigation training, and invigorated fleet damage control and firefighting training. Robertson also directed the investment to update and modernize Navy training while developing strategies to advance, if not accelerate, the implementation of Sailor 2025 and Ready, Relevant Learning. 

“SWOS is a great place to lead using the principles of mission command,” said Robertson speaking to his relief. “The SWOS team is talented, resourceful, disciplined and committed to adapting in the rapidly changing environment of today. Convey your desired end state and watch them execute with effective purpose.”

Alexander served as commanding officer of USS Princeton (CG 59) and USS Sampson (DDG 102); executive officer of USS Hopper (DDG 70); operations officer for Destroyer Squadron 2 and USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51); navigator aboard USS Reid (FFG 30); and damage control assistant aboard USS Wabash (AOR 5).

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to be given this opportunity to take command of Surface Warfare Officers School,” said Alexander. “I pledge to do everything I can to carry on the legacy left before me.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Robertson was promoted to rear admiral and pinned by his family. His next assignment is the commander of Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center in San Diego, California.

Headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island, SWOS readies sea-bound Sailors to serve on surface combatants as officers, enlisted engineers, and enlisted navigation professionals to fulfill the Navy’s mission to maintain global maritime superiority.