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Press Release | July 20, 2023

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett holds change of command ceremony

HONOLULU — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) held a change of command ceremony, Thursday, on Coast Guard Base Honolulu.

Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson, deputy commander of U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, presided over the ceremony in which Capt. Matthew Rooney relieved Capt. Willie Carmichael as Midgett’s commanding officer. 

Carmichael served as Midgett’s commanding officer from August 2021 to July 2023. Under Carmichael’s leadership, Midgett deployed to the Bering Sea and Oceania in support of domestic and illegal, unregulated, unreported fisheries.

In the summer of 2022, Midgett and crew participated as the Coast Guard’s senior naval component in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, which is the largest naval exercise conducted by the U.S. Carmichael served as a task force commander during RIMPAC and led over 10 U.S and foreign ships through naval exercises for increased interoperability and proficiency. 

Following RIMPAC, Midgett deployed to the Western Pacific where Midgett’s crew strengthened international partnerships throughout the Indo-Pacific. Under Carmichael’s leadership, the crew conducted multiple engagements with the Philippine and Indian coast guards, Maldives Defense Force and Republic of Singapore Navy.

“As a career cutterman, I could not have asked for a better final tour at sea,” said Carmichael. “I am extremely fortunate to have sailed with such a talented and professional crew that became my Ohana. You made a difference from the Bering Sea to the Indian Ocean and many points in between. It was an honor to serve with you.”

Rooney reports to Midgett from the U.S. Army War College after completing strategic academic studies. Rooney previously commanded the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer (WMEC 905) in 2021.

Carmichael departs Midgett to serve as the Response Division Chief in the Coast Guard’s Seventh District in Miami.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and formal ritual conducted before the assembled company of a command to confirm to the unit’s men and women that the authority of command is maintained. The ceremony is a transfer of total responsibility, authority, and accountability from one individual to another.

Commissioned in 2019, Midgett is one of two Coast Guard legend-class national security cutters homeported in Honolulu. National security cutters are 418-feet long, 54-feet wide and has a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 170. The advanced technologies of the national security cutter class ships are designed to support the national objective to maintain the security of America’s maritime boundaries and provide long range search and rescue capabilities.

Midgett is the second cutter named after the Midgett family, many of whom served in the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Life Saving Service and other predecessor life-saving services. Seven members of the Midgett family have been awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal, including John Allen Midgett Jr. and Rasmus Midgett.