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NEWS | July 7, 2017

NRL Holds Dual Change of Command, Retirement Ceremony

By Michael Hart

WASHINGTON -- Captain Mark Bruington, the 38th commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, was relieved by NRL executive officer Captain Scott Moran during a dual change of command and retirement ceremony at the Navy’s corporate laboratory July 7, 2017.

As friends, family, Sailors, researchers and staff looked on, Bruington and Moran performed the time-honored Navy tradition, completing Bruington’s distinguished 28-year career.

The ceremony also brought to a close Bruington’s three-year assignment at NRL’s commanding officer, directing the activities of approximately 2,500 scientists, engineers and support personnel in conducting leading-edge research and providing new technological capabilities to the Navy and Marine Corps.

“I truly stood on the shoulders of giants, not only in the field of basic and applied science, but also with incredible leaders who thanklessly make a myriad of decisions that keep a dynamic shore command humming,” said Bruington.

“NRL is a unique place. It is the only corporate laboratory for the Navy and Marine Corps, and I have been proud to be its commanding officer.”

Prior to assuming command of NRL in August 2014, Bruington was the Principal Director, Programs at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, charged with DoD humanitarian assistance, building partnership capacity and foreign military training and equipping U.S. partner nations.

His at-sea tours include Attack Squadron 165 aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and Fighter Squadron 11 aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), both in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.

Following the events of Sept. 11, he joined Fighter Squadron 211, again aboard Stennis, in the initial phases of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Bruington also completed numerous shore assignments at training facilities and staff duty commands, as well as an exchange program tour with the Royal Australian Air Force.

A California native, Bruington was commissioned through the Aviation Officer Candidate School program after graduating from San Francisco State University and has flown more than 70 combat missions above Iraq and Afghanistan. He has flown 41 different types of aircraft while amassing 3,200 flight hours and over 500 carrier-arrested landings.

“Simply put, I have been blessed to be able to follow my dream of flying and serving this nation that I am proud to call home,” he said. “I have only known the Navy since graduating from college, and my career has been filled with incredible experiences, coupled with friends that I will have for the rest of my life.”

Moran, also an aviator, has flown the majority of his career in the Navy’s EA-6B Prowler community. He has served in other shore assignments in program management, requirements generation and test & evaluation specialties. Additionally, he served as Deputy Commander for a joint unit in Baghdad, Iraq, that fielded, maintained and tested systems designed to protect against Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead an organization with so much history and talent,” he stated. “I look forward to continuing the great work that Captain Bruington put into motion to improve upon NRL's already incredible capabilities."

“NRL has the human capital and infrastructure needed to realize essential technological gains for our future Naval Forces,” he continued. “As commanding officer, I intend to continue facilitating the superb work that has made NRL such an amazing engine of innovation for nearly 100 years.”

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