USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) held a change of command ceremony Jun. 25 on the ship’s flight deck at Naval Base Mayport. Cmdr. Jeffrey Servello, a native of Hollywood, Md., assumed command of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer from Cmdr. Lennard Cannon, a native of Decatur, Ga.
Cannon departs after a 16-month command tour aboard Paul Ignatius. He also served as Paul Ignatius ’s executive officer, leading the ship through its building, outfitting and commissioning. Cannon assumed command of Paul Ignatius in Feb. 2020, and he led the ship in the completion of numerous ship-wide certifications, and the commencement of a rigorous and abbreviated training cycle. Additionally, he and the ship recently returned to Mayport after conducting two successful missile launches and other demonstrations during Exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield in the northeast Atlantic.
“It has been an absolute privilege to lead the world’s finest Sailors aboard Paul Ignatius during these past 16 months,” said Cannon. “I will forever cherish my time as commanding officer and am excited for the bright future that lies ahead for the entire crew."
Also in attendance was the ship’s namesake, 69th Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Paul R. Ignatius, who was the guest speaker at the ceremony. Secretary Ignatius celebrated his 100th birthday in Nov. 2020.
Cannon’s next assignment is with Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C.
Paul Ignatius serves as a ballistic and guided missile defense platform homeported in Mayport, Florida and is assigned to Naval Surface Squadron Fourteen.
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