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Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby Retires After 34-Year Career

By The Maritime Executive 05-08-2013 08:10:00

Photo: Buzby observes an underway replenishment with USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) while aboard USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) during an October 2012 visit to the ship in the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Kim E. Dixon)

Congratulations to RADM Mark Buzby on a distinguished 34-year career in the U.S. Navy. Enjoy retirement!

Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby will be relieved by Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon on Friday, May 10.

On May 1st, Mark H. “Buz” Buzby – Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy and Commander, Military Sealift Command – made the following announcement on SEALIFT, the official blog of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command:

Relieve the watch

Seems like I have been doing that – standing watch – most of my adult life, and now, my watch is about to be relieved for the final time. By the time most of you are reading this, I will have been relieved as COMSC by a truly outstanding officer – Rear Admiral Tom “TK” Shannon. As a Maine Maritime Academy graduate, he is superbly prepared to lead this organization into the future armed with a solid foundation in the Merchant Marine and recent operational experience as a Carrier Strike Group Commander on the front lines. In short – you could not have hoped for a more highly qualified and experienced officer to take MSC’s helm. I am certain that he will lead this organization to continued greatness in the future.

Photo: Buzby tries out the captain’s chair aboard USNS Guam (HST 1) during a January 2012 tour of the ship with MSC Executive Director John Thackrah. (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Cook)

As I depart MSC after 3 ½ years in command, and the Navy after 34 years, I do so with a great sense of satisfaction, and sense that, while I got paid, I never really had a “job.” With very few exceptions, I loved doing what I was doing and was always grateful for the opportunity to keep on doing it – especially when the assignment was at sea. I’ve always been fascinated by ships and boats, probably inspired by visits to magnificent ships like SS UNITED STATES, SS CONSTITUTION, and RMS QUEEN MARY when I was very young, so a life at sea was a natural draw for me. While the ships may have drawn me to sea, it was the Mariners and the Sailors whom I served with on ships over the years that made me sure that I had chosen the right profession. It is as true today as it was the first day I stepped aboard SS MORMACSAGA as a Cadet and knew I was in the “right place.” To end my career in a position to serve with and lead professional Mariners has been a high privilege, and spawned a cherished set of memories.

When I took command of MSC back in October 2009 on the flight deck of COMFORT amid a cold, squally Nor’easter, I pledged to you in my remarks that I would strive to be the very best Commander that I was capable of being, and I asked that you be the very best at what it is that you do in our organization – be it afloat or ashore. One look at what MSC has accomplished in the past several years by even a casual observer of maritime affairs will reveal that you all have certainly lived up to your end of the bargain. I salute you all for that – you have every reason to be proud.

I will leave it up to you to make the assessment about whether I measured up to my responsibilities. I would like to think that I made a positive difference in this outfit and left it better than I found it. Time will tell, I suppose.

I can’t tell you specifically what lies ahead for MSC, but I do know that our nation and our Navy will look increasingly to YOU for innovative means to get the job done at sea – effectively, efficiently, and without fail – more than ever before in our history. I go over the side knowing that you will meet that challenge as you always have, because that’s what we do – We Deliver, any time, any ocean.