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Change of Command at Carderock

With seven words, the leadership of 3,800 personnel members of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division changed hands.

Capt. Steven W. Petri was relieved by incoming commander, Capt. Charles D. Behrle, at the Carderock facility in a Change of Command Ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

“I relieve you, sir,” said Behrle.

“I stand relieved,” said Petri.

AS BEHRLE TOOK command, he said he felt a mixture of pride, thanks, energy “and I must admit, a small feeling of anxiety.”

Behrle becomes the 33rd-ever commander of Carderock since the facility’s beginning in 1899, a laboratory and testing facility of the U.S. Navy. Vice Admiral Phillip M. Balisle reminded attendees of the challenges wartime poses to the Navy and Carderock.

“Tomorrow’s battlefield will be fought in unpredictable locations at unpredictable times,” said Balisle.

For the past year, Behrle was the technical director for a multi-mission destroyer, DD(X).

“Success of the individual is never individual success,” said Behrle, a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with an educational background in electrical engineering. “I will use the values I learned from my family, my mentors, my shipmates and the Navy.”

Petri departs after a three-year tenure commanding the Carderock Division.

PETRI HAS SERVED as Carderock’s commander since September 2000. His tour was typical in length for a military command position, said Tom Warring of Carderock’s communications department. “A normal tour for a Navy or Marine Corps officer is three years,” said Warring.

“I have never worked with people like you who were so willing to follow your leaders,” Petri said in reference to Carderock’s mixture of civilian, military and contractor personnel. “You don’t think of yourselves as overachievers, and yet you do extraordinary things.”