Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic (RLSO MIDLANT) held its change of command ceremony at Vista Point Center on 10 July 2019.
The full audience included many distinguished guests from every area of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and from the line community as well. Cmdr. Hollis N. Simodynes relieved Capt. Peter R. Koebler as commanding officer of RLSO MIDLANT. Rear Adm. Del E. Crandall, Commander, Naval Legal Service Command, presided.
Retired Rear Adm. Kirk Foster delivered the keynote address.
“Command is a sacred trust and one that Captain Koebler has embraced fully,” he said about Koebler. Foster continued, “he is a man and officer of great humility…who speaks last so that his people can speak first.” During the ceremony, Crandall, quoting John Quincy Adams, described Koebler as the kind of leader we should all aspire to be. Of Koebler, Crandall said, “during your tenure people have dreamed more, learned more, done more, and become more.”
Turning to Simodynes, Crandall said, “you have the qualities RLSO MIDLANT needs in a leader.” “You have my full faith and confidence to lead,” he continued.
Shortly before being relieved, Koebler told the command, “it has been my great honor to be your commanding officer.” Koebler will now return to Washington, D.C. where he will serve as the Executive Assistant for the Judge Advocate General of the Navy.
Simodynes previously served as the Executive Officer at RLSO MIDLANT. She will now take the helm until the prospective commanding officer, Capt. Frank Hutchison, arrives in August. In her remarks, Simodynes thanked her family for their unwavering support and told RLSO MIDLANT Senior Enlisted Leader, Legalman Master Chief (SW/AW/IW) Myron Chism and Capt. Koebler how fortunate she felt to be a part of a command triad with two such extraordinary leaders. A Maryland native, Simodynes received her juris doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law. Simodynes also earned a master of laws in Energy and Environmental Law from The George Washington University.
RLSO MIDLANT is a customer service organization that supports fleet operational readiness by providing high-quality legal services to commands and authorized personnel, including Sailors and their families in the largest fleet concentration area in the world. RLSO MIDLANT serves North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and the Northeastern Territories of Canada.