The Navy’s largest shore command held a virtual change of command and retirement ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museum onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, July 9.
Rear Adm. Peter A. Garvin relieved Rear Adm. Kyle J. Cozad as commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC).
“I couldn’t be more proud of the entire NETC and Force Development team over the last three years,” said Cozad. “Despite some significant challenges, new opportunities were created – and the entire team found ways to innovate and work beyond any barriers. This effort resulted in countless examples of initiatives that changed for the better the way we develop our Sailors and officers, and how we deliver training today. I want to thank each and every one of you for your dedication and professionalism during these historic times.”
NETC saw major changes with the standup of the chief of naval personnel’s MyNavy HR organization and matured the concept of the Force Development pillar, which now covers the full “street to fleet” process of recruiting civilians, and through world-class training, transforming them into combat-ready warfighters ready to meet the current and future needs of fleet customers. Navy Recruiting Command realigned with NETC for the recruiting aspect of Force Development, and the NETC team continued to make strides with implementing Ready, Relevant Learning, the future of Navy training, as part of the chief of naval operations Sailor 2025 initiative.
Cozad, who retired after 35 years of naval service, stressed to the NETC team that they must continue to evolve to meet the command’s Force Development mission.
“NETC really is a foundational element of fleet readiness in our Navy,” said Cozad. “We owe the fleet our very best and as a result of that, we owe them an ability to be better, to be faster, and to be more effective as we develop Sailors and officer in preparation for their initial fleet assignments.”
Cozad, a Las Vegas native and 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, expressed his thanks to the NETC team for how they came together to not only continue to meet the mission when he suffered an injury early in his tour, but for the support he personally received from the staff, Navy leadership, and so many organizations throughout his ongoing recovery. As a Wounded Warrior himself, he found a personal mission in supporting Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor, the Navy’s sole organization for coordinating the non-medical care of seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, and providing resources and support to their families.
The importance of taking care of one another and the command’s family mentality became even more evident to him in the aftermath of the terrorist attack at Naval Aviation Schools Command and now during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t have a crystal ball, but I am of the opinion that this is our new normal, and we are in it for the long haul,” said Cozad. “At the end of the day, as we look toward assurance of our critical training mission, we need to do so with an eye toward protecting the health of our workforce and our families.”
Cozad’s previous flag officer assignments include vice deputy director, Regional, Force Management and Future Operations (J-35), The Joint Staff in Norfolk, Virginia; commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo; and commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group and Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Pacific in Norfolk.
The ceremony’s guest speaker, retired Adm. Bill Moran, who previously served as the 57th chief of naval personnel and the Navy’s 39th vice chief of naval operations, commented on Cozad’s and his spouse, Amy’s, ability to make everyone feel special – what he referred to as the “Cozad Retention Machine.”
“There is nobody that I have met that is better at drawing in young men and women and making them feel they are part of the team,” said Moran. “Amy has also done so much for the Navy. She had a wonderful way of making people feel special at every tour. I hope you feel that your career was a success because of the people you and Amy have positively touched.”
Moran concluded by welcoming the Garvins to the NETC team.
“Pete, you and Cheryl (Garvin’s spouse) are stepping into very big shoes,” said Moran. “But you two are extraordinary in your own rights and I have no doubt both of you will do a fantastic job.”
Garvin, a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and most recently, commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group and Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Pacific in Norfolk, became the 20th NETC commander. He reminded the NETC team of the importance of its mission to recruit, educate and train the fleet.
“To the Force Development enterprise – Navy Recruiting Command, Naval Service Training Command, and all our learning and training support centers,” said Garvin. “From ‘street to fleet,’ know this: we must remain focused on what matters most at the end of the day; Sailors who are ready to fight and win against any adversary, at any time, at any location.”
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition, formally restating the continuity of authority of command. The Navy retirement ceremony is a solemn event that recognizes a Sailor’s total commitment to service and country and bestows the Navy’s appreciation for a job well done, while recognizing the painstaking devotion to duty and endless family separations.
NETC recruits and trains those who serve our nation, taking them from “street to fleet” by transforming civilians into highly skilled, operational, and combat-ready warfighters, while providing the tools and opportunities for continuous learning and development.