CAPT Todd Monroe
Today I have the honor of attending a Change of Command ceremony for Captain Todd Monroe, Commanding Officer of Fleet Weather Center, San Diego, capping a quarter century of service to his country.
He has had three command tours, the last two of which were major commands – something rare in the Oceanography community.
He began his service as a ship driver, participating in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, but it wasn’t until 2001 that he emerged as a vital part of a lethal Naval team. As the Tomahawk Cruise Missile Officer for the ENTERPRISE Strike Group, he chose the targets for the nation’s first response to Taliban involvement in the attacks on September 11, earning a Bronze Star for his effective leadership of the Tomahawk attack.
By all accounts his career has been stellar, but what I have admired about him over the years is his humility and character. He does what is right simply because it is the right thing to do. Not because it is easy or popular, but because he has an unshakeable commitment to duty, and duty demands it.
I have known him for twenty years and marveled at his accomplishments. But if confronted with them, he will shun the praise with a self-deflating comment, deflecting the praise toward those who work for him.
That is the sign of a great leader.
The Navy is losing a superstar today. But the thousands of officers and Sailors who he influenced over the years – including me – will carry on, better for having known him. That is a legacy for which many an officer has striven, only to fall short. Not him.
Congratulations, Captain Monroe, and thank you for your dedicated service for the past 25 years. Fair winds and following seas, shipmate.