Base “Mayorship” changes hands

base mayorship

Capt(N) Steve Waddell gives his first speech as Base Commander at the CFB Esquimalt Change of Command ceremony held at the Military Museum Parade Square on July 30.

As ranks of shining white, green, and blue uniforms stood at attention under the blazing summer sun, CFB Esquimalt welcomed its new Base Commander.

Capt(N) Steve Waddell took command of CFB Esquimalt from Cmdre Luc Cassivi during a well-attended ceremony on July 30.

Beginning the ceremony with blessings from Esquimalt Nation Elder Mary Anne Thomas, and Songhees Nation Elder Elmer George, as well Formation Chaplain Maj Doug Friesen, the newly minted Cmdre Cassivi took to the podium to bid farewell to the base.

“Thirteen months ago I took over the position as ‘Mayor of CFB Esquimalt,’” said Cmdre Cassivi to a crowd that included prestigious guests such as VAdm (Ret’d) Nigel Brodeur, and Mayor of Esquimalt Barbara Desjardins. “It was a challenging year, and it showed me the power and ingenuity of the men and women in uniform. With your dedication, and a passion for what you do, you faced every challenge head-on and that’s why, to me, this year was a success.”

From CFB Esquimalt, Cmdre Cassivi will move on to his new position as Director General of Naval Strategic Readiness at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. To incoming Base Commander Capt(N) Waddell, he had some choice words on the nature of base leadership.

“There are a lot of people here to help you; trust them, work with them, and they’ll make your time here much easier,” he said. “These are good people. You’re in good hands.”

Following the lowering of Cmdre Cassivi’s Base Commander’s Pennant, Reviewing Officer RAdm Bill Truelove, Commander Maritime Force Pacific (MARPAC) took the podium.

“You came into the job running and never slowed down, and the results are evident everywhere we look,” said RAdm Truelove to Cmdre Cassivi. “For all your dedication, hard work, tact, and thoughtfulness and the obvious concern you have for those under your command I sincerely thank you.”

RAdm Truelove also had words for Cmdre Cassivi’s partner Francisco Mejia De La Rosa.

“Over the past two year’s Luc has been very busy, and you’ve been by his side providing that tremendous support. While we can never thank our families enough it is their constant support that enables us to succeed both personally and collectively.”

Turning to Capt(N) Waddell, RAdm Truelove welcomed him and his family to their new home.

“You’re in the midst of another change in your life, but as I’m sure Luc has told you, it’s a pretty good one,” said RAdm Truelove. “You inherit a remarkable team of professionals, both in and out of uniform, and I know you’ll use your tremendous leadership skills to move towards our goals and our combined future.”

With the watch officially signed over from Cmdre Cassivi to Capt(N) Waddell, the new Base Commander had his pennant raised and took to the podium to address the crowd.

“I am very humbled by my position, and hope to build on the cohesion and prosperity Cmdre Cassivi brought to this base,” he said. “With the help, comradeship, and advice of all of you I build a perspective that allows me to see our work environment from a variety of view points. It’s this variety that will shape and guide my leadership over the next few years. I look forward to working with all of you.”  

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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