Region Legal Service Office Southeast (RLSO SE) held a change of command ceremony on June 30 at the Ocean Breeze Conference Center aboard Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
Rear Adm. John G. Hannink, Deputy Judge Advocate General and Commander, Naval Legal Service Command, presided over the ceremony in which Capt. Patrick Gibbons relieved Capt. Mark Klein as commanding officer of RLSO SE.
"A change of command is an important event," said Hannink. “It is important for the two officers involved and also important for the entire command because the support and effort of everyone is needed to make any command fully successful.”
During the ceremony, Klein acknowledged the support his family has provided throughout the years and thanked RLSO SE Sailors and civilians for a rewarding tour.
"The past two years in command have given me a profound appreciation for what good people can accomplish if you simply let them know what you expect, challenge them to be better, empower them to innovate and take chances, and then get out of the way. It is truly amazing what the RLSO SE team can accomplish with just a little guidance and a little space," said Klein.
Klein will assume duties as the Judge Advocate General's Special Assistant for Strategic Planning. Prior to assuming command, Gibbons completed his tour at the Office of the Judge Advocate General where he served as the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General for Legal Assistance. Previously, he served as the Oceans Policy Advisor on the Chief of Naval Operations’ staff and as Deputy Force and Fleet Judge Advocate for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and Fifth Fleet.
“My commitment to the women and men of RLSO SE is to do everything I can as the commanding officer to ensure their experience is as rewarding and as firm a foundation for future success as mine was when I was a lieutenant,” said Gibbons. He also thanked his family and close friends for their continued support. Gibbons, a New York City native, is a Triple “Hoo” with three degrees from the University of Virginia: a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Master of Arts in History, and a Juris Doctor. He also received his Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from the George Washington University Law School. He was commissioned through NROTC at the University of Virginia in 1992 before being selected for the Law Education Program.
RLSO SE supports the operational readiness of Department of the Navy assets in the Southeastern United States by providing responsive, timely and accurate legal guidance, support services and training in the areas of military justice, legal assistance and administrative law.