The Naval Education and Training Command is under new management. A change of command ceremony was held Friday at the Museum of Naval Aviation aboard NAS Pensacola.
After two years on the job, Rear Adm. Donald Quinn stepped down at NET-C commander in a traditional Navy ceremony. He was succeeded by Rear Adm. Michael White. Quinn is also retiring after a 35-year naval career.
If you thought the ceremony would be one of solemn talk and sad faces, then you would have had another think coming. And it was led by Quinn, whose nickname is “DQ.”
“Jean (his wife) and I look forward to the opportunities that lay ahead,” said Quinn. “The only real transition decision left to make is which Walmart I work in as the greeter.”
Quinn’s record, though, is serious Navy. Academy graduate, Class of 1979, with more than 4,600 flight hours, and the Distinguished Flying Cross, among other accolades.
The featured speaker, Vice Admiral William Moran, served as NET-C commander from 2004 to 2007. He said its Quinn’s legacy of leadership that stands out.
“A legacy that includes countless numbers of leading chief petty officers and petty officers,” said Moran. “Ten squadron C.Os, six major commanders and a CAG (Commander Air Group). Those are impressive figures by any measure. And a sign of mentorship and friendship that has lasted years, if not decades.”
NET-C provides training for all sailors, as well as personnel from the Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and international students from allied nations. Moran said much emphasis is placed on the investments in things, but he added that people are the abstract to life, and that’s what NET-C is all about.
Moran concluded his remarks by saying that Rear Admiral Michael White “has some large flight boots to fill.”
After the reading of orders, handshakes and salutes, Rear Adm. Mike White illustrated the importance of what NET-C teaches by going back 70 years to the Battle of Midway in World War II – where Navy dive bombers attacked Japanese carriers and in less than six minutes, changed the course of the war in the Pacific.
“Each and every one had to perform their job that day, in order for those aircraft to arrive, execute their mission, and return safely,” said White. “And somewhere along the way, each of those sailors learned their job in a training organization.”
Rear Adm. Don Quinn’s retirement becomes effective February 1st, as does Rear Adm. Mike White’s tour with the Naval Education and Training Command.