Defense Service Office (DSO) West held a change of command ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California, on September 18, 2015.
Rear Adm. John G. Hannink, Commander of Naval Legal Service Command as well as Deputy Judge Advocate General, presided over the ceremony in which Capt. Michael M. Bates relieved Capt. Lisa B. Sullivan as commanding officer of DSO West.
“DSO West provides critical services to the Fleet. Capt. Sullivan and her command have made a great difference in the lives of the Sailors they serve by showing compassion and professionalism through their most trying hours,” said Hannink.
During the ceremony, Sullivan thanked her Sailors for a rewarding tour and acknowledged the support her family has provided throughout the years.
“I am very fortunate and honored to have had the privilege of command and truly could not have asked for a better command than DSO West. It was rewarding to be part of such a dedicated and outstanding team of civilian, enlisted, and officer personnel,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan will continue her duties as Chief of Staff of all Defense Service Offices in the Navy. Bates just completed his tour as the Force Judge Advocate for Naval Education and Training Command in Pensacola, Florida. Prior to that, he served as the Force Judge Advocate for Joint Region Marianas, Executive Officer for Naval Legal Service Office Pacific, and Command Judge Advocate onboard the USS Independence (CV 62). Bates has also completed a 7 month deployment to Joint Task Force, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“I’m excited about the team of officers, enlisted and civilians at DSO West. I know that Capt. Sullivan did not build this team, or its sterling reputation, overnight and I’m honored to follow her. Leading the men and women of DSO West into their bright future is truly a dream job for me,” said Bates.
Bates, a San Diego native, graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and received his Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law. He also received a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the University of California, Berkeley. DSO West provides legal representation to military service members at Administrative Separation Boards, Boards of Inquiry and Courts-Martial, in addition to providing advice to service members on defense-related topics such as non-judicial punishment.