Big day for appointments.

First, time for Admiral James Stavridis to move from SOUTCOM to go head up NATO/EUCOM, sez Reuters. If appointed, Stavridis will be the first naval officer to be posted at this command, but, even though that’s a big deal, I, personally, am sorta sad that an Admiral who always had exciting stuff for his grab-bag of leftover/experimental warships to do, is heading off to work, well….Afghanistan. Maybe pirates. Maybe the Black Sea.

But the sea is not going to be his primary focus. Enough said.

Sure, the NATO post is quite the perk–tough, important duty, maybe a stepping-stone to something better–and Stavridis is going to do great, of course, but…I’ll miss his cheerful challenges to orthodoxy at sea. We Navy bloggers are more familiar with the steady stream of interesting Stavridis-inspired projects than most in the media, and now, unless we get somebody with similar ideas, I suspect that SOUTHCOM will recede into obscurity. It’s a shame to see Stavridis leave SOUTHCOM…

But, hey, maybe he’s just the guy we need to open new supply lines into Afghanistan.

Second, a former F-14 pilot, Admiral Robert Willard, is moving from the Pacific Fleet up to lead the US Pacific Command. Feels like a strong, logical move, though I’m sure some Air Force people have a perennial hope that one day, an Air Force General will get to be more than an acting head of PACOM.

(But..Air Force gets a consolation prize–SOUTHCOM–where Lt. General Douglas Fraser gets a chance to put his mark on this new command. Hopefully he’ll be just as innovative as the former commander!)

Best of luck to all!

Posted by Defense Springboard in Navy

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  • UltimaRatioReg

    See? Blogging here hasn’t hurt ADM Stavridis any. Two COCOMs in a row!

  • Thanks for the kind words, and believe me, I’ll be “keeping my hand” in Navy innovation, for whatever it’s worth.

    I’m excited about the challenges in NATO, and — if confirmed — look forward to continuing the voyage. Since both my wife and I lived in Europe as children, and my PhD has a NATO security component, this is a good fit — especially given many years at sea in NATO missions from Haiti to Bosnia to the Gulf. And I can brush up on my French after three years of speaking Spanish!

    I also think the international / interagency approach we’ve taken at SOUTHCOM will fit in EUCOM, and the counter-insurgency focus of Colombia will likewise help as we look at challenges in Afghanistan. So we’re excited at the chance, confirmation permitting!

  • Byron

    Skippy, fix your link, bud 😉

  • The link works both ways. Am I missing something?

  • Byron

    Naw, you just put one over my fuzzy head, it works just fine 😉

  • cgchop

    looking forward to ADM Stavridis visit to the Army Command and General Staff College…