The US Coast Guard change-of-command ceremony for its 9th District, which spans the five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and parts of the surrounding states; & at the same time a retirement ceremony for its departing commander.
Vice Adm. Robert Parker, Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander, presided over the ceremony to transfer command of the 9th District from Rear Adm. Michael Parks to Rear Adm. Fred Midgette.
Parks assumed command of the 9th District in April 2010. Following the change-of-command ceremony, Parks will retire after 35 years of Coast Guard service and plans to travel for the summer and spend time with his family.
Midgette reports to the 9th District from his position as the military advisor to the secretary of homeland security. He’s returning to Cleveland, having previously served as 9th District chief of staff, or second in command of district operations, from May 2010 to May 2011.
Headquartered in Cleveland, 9th District units are responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout the five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and parts of the surrounding states including 6,700 miles of shoreline and 1,500 miles of shared international border with Canada. The 6,000 active-duty, Reserve, civilian and Auxiliary men and women deliver multi-mission services in search and rescue, maritime safety and security, environmental protection, maritime law enforcement, aids to navigation, and icebreaking.
In the picture: Rear Adm. Fred Midgette (right) shakes hands with Rear Adm. Michael Parks after relieving him of duty as commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, headquartered in Cleveland, during a change of command ceremony at the Cleveland Convention Center.