News | June 2, 2015

RLSO NDW Holds Change of Command

By Lt. j.g. Ryan Kennedy, Region Legal Service Office Naval District Washington

Region Legal Service Office Naval District Washington (RLSO NDW) held a change of command ceremony on April 24, 2015 at the National Museum of the Navy aboard the Washington Navy Yard.

Rear Adm. James W. Crawford, deputy judge advocate general of the Navy and Commander of Naval Legal Service Command, presided over the ceremony in which Cmdr. DeAndrea G. Fuller relieved Capt. Gregory J. Smith as commanding officer of RLSO NDW.

During the ceremony, Smith thanked his Sailors and civilian staff for a rewarding tour, and he described the support that his family, friends, and mentors provided him throughout the years.

“As I thought about my last two years at RLSO NDW, I thought about a question I always ask of the RLSO NDW team: what is the theme?” said Smith. “My answer: strength, not a physical strength, but a personal strength. At RLSO NDW I have found and witnessed unlimited strength, a strength founded in teamwork, a strength motivated toward mission accomplishment.”

Smith will assume duties as fleet judge advocate for U.S. Pacific Fleet.  An Ipswich, Massachusetts native, Smith graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine with a degree in Economics and in Government and Legal Studies in 1987, and  from New England School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1992.  Smith previously served at U.S. Pacific Command as its deputy judge advocate, and as the international and operational law attorney and deputy judge advocate for Joint Task Force 519.   He has also served as executive officer for the Naval Justice School, Newport, Rhode Island, and deployed aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73), where he completed a combat deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  Smith deployed again in 2009-2010 to Iraq to serve as chief of operational law at Multi-National Force and U.S. Forces-Iraq.

Fuller, born in Nashville, Tennessee, earned her bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University, her Juris Doctor degree from Temple University School of Law, and her Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law from the University of San Diego School of Law.  Fuller served as executive officer for RLSO NDW prior to the change of command.  She has also served as the command judge advocate aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), as head of maritime environmental law department in the Office of the Judge Advocate General, and as deputy special counsel to the Chief of Naval Operations.  Fuller deployed in January 2013 to Kabul, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom while serving as the deputy legal advisor at Headquarters, NATO International Security Assistance Force.

"It is a blessing to accept responsibility for such a dynamic command,” said Fuller. “While I recognize that this duty is temporary in nature, I am nonetheless grateful for the opportunity to serve as the leader of such a skilled and dedicated crew of legal professionals.”

RLSO NDW supports the operational readiness of Department of the Navy Commands and Sailors in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the District of Columbia by providing responsive, timely and accurate legal guidance, support services and training in the areas of military justice, command services and administrative law, and legal assistance.