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Alexandria Native Becomes 15th Chief of Navy Reserve

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vice Adm. John B. Mustin relieved Vice Adm. Luke M. McCollum as Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander, Navy Reserve Force, during a change of command ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, Aug. 7.

Mustin, the 15th Chief of Navy Reserve, is an Alexandria, Virginia native. He is a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, served as a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) and who affiliated with the Reserve in 2001.

Secretary of the Navy, Kenneth J. Braithwaite, and Chief of Naval Operations, Adm.Mike Gilday, delivered keynote remarks at a semi-virtual ceremony, which adopted Sailor and family member safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Braithwaite opened the ceremony with a moment of silence honoring past service members.

“The Reserve force has played a critical role in shaping not only our naval history, but our Nation’s history,” Braithwaite said. “As we approach the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, we will pause to remember historic heroes such as Lt. Cmdr. W. Graham Claytor whose leadership led to the rescue of survivors of the sinking of USS Indianapolis (CA-35) or Medal of Honor recipients Elmer Bigelow, William David Halyburton, and Francis Flaherty. Along with many others, we think of them and are reminded that in times of crisis, one’s affiliation to active or reserve duty is not important. The only thing that matters is one’s dedication to service above self!”

McCollum became the 14th Chief of Navy Reserve in 2016 supporting the Navy, Marine Corps and joint force operations worldwide. The Ready Reserve Force consists of over 110,000 members comprised of Full-Time Support, Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve Sailors.

McCollum, a Stephenville, Texas native and son of a WWII veteran, commissioned through the Naval Academy in 1983 as a SWO. He affiliated with the Reserve Force in 1993. During his tenure, McCollum implemented a transformational and strategic redesign of the Reserve force aimed at improving operational integration and individual readiness.

“Thank you Luke for your 37 years of service to this country and to our Navy,” Gilday said. “The Reserve force plays a vital role in our Navy, and this past year many have surged to support hospitals and shipyards during the COVID pandemic, as well as conducting missions overseas. Thank you for building and maintaining an agile Reserve force that can respond in a moment’s notice to a variety of challenges. No doubt, the Reserve force you leave behind is better prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow head on.”

McCollum said he especially enjoyed moments interacting with, and advocating for, Reserve Sailors around the globe during his four-year command.

“I am continually inspired by our high performing team of both full time and part time Reserve Sailors,” McCollum said. “They inspired me every day of my four years in command – the highlight of my career. They have done an amazing job of balancing their military service requirements with their family and employer obligations. They have maintained the readiness to respond and serve on a moment’s notice if called upon. I am additionally grateful to my headquarters and personal staff who have worked so hard to advocate and create policy changes needed to build out a more lethal and capable Navy Reserve. Your passion and focus to take care of our Sailors does not go unnoticed.”

McCollum received the Distinguished Service Medal and retired from military service during the ceremony.

Gilday said Mustin is well-suited to lead the Navy Reserve through modern
challenges and to opportunities on the horizon.

“John, your public and private sector service has prepared you well for this unique role, at this unique time,” Gilday said. “I look forward to serving beside you as an integrated Navy team.”

Upon accepting the responsibility as Chief of Navy Reserve, Mustin said he will continue to innovate and modernize the Reserve.

“A Navy Reserve that is ‘ready to win’ is not a slogan, it’s a promise to our great Nation,” Mustin said. “Now, more than any other time in our nation’s history, our civilian and military leaders are counting on us to be ready to contribute to a high-end fight, tonight. To compete and win, without caveat. Together, we will relentlessly generate ready, responsive, resilient warfighting support to our joint force partners today … even while transforming to address the realities of new and evolving future threats. I am honored, and stand ready, to lead and serve our Reserve Sailors and their families in this endeavor.”

The mission of the Navy Reserve is to provide strategic depth and deliver
operational capabilities to the Navy and Marine Corps team and joint forces.
Navy Reservists seamlessly support and actively aid that mission, all while
continuing to lead their own independent lives in the civilian world.

Story by Chief Petty Officer Stephen Hickok, Commander, Navy Reserve Force    

By Lt. j.g. Jacob Dirr, Commander, Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs

ICYMI: On Loyalty by Marcus Fisk

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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