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Rear. Adm. Richard Brown Nominated to Serve as Next Commander of Naval Surface Forces

Rear Adm. Richard Brown, commander of Navy Personnel Command, left, greets Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson during a tour of Navy Personnel Command at Naval Support Activity Mid-South, in Millington, Tenn., in August 2017. U.S. Navy photo.

Rear Adm. Richard Brown was nominated to serve as the next commander of Naval Surface Forces and commander of Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, following the retirement of current SWO Boss Vice Adm. Tom Rowden.

Brown, a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is currently the commander of Navy Personnel Command and deputy chief of Naval Personnel in Millington, Tenn.

Brown also has been leading a dual admiralty and Judge Advocate General Manual (JAGMAN) investigation into the Aug. 21 collision between guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) and Liberian-flagged chemical tanker Alnic MC near Singapore.

The investigation is one of several examinations into the collision that resulted in the death of 10 sailors in the early morning as the destroyer navigated a crowded shipping lane in the Strait of Malacca. The results of Brown’s investigation will not be released to the public until potential claims against the U.S. are settled, according to Navy sources.

Prior to Brown’s current assignment at Navy Personnel Command, he served as the commanding officer of Surface Warfare Officers School Command and commander of Naval Service Training Command; was the executive assistant to the assistant secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs; commanded Carrier Strike Group 11; served as the skipper of both destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) and cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG-64); and more. According to his official Navy biography, every year he commanded a Navy ship, his crew earned the Battle Efficiency Award.

Rowden, who has served as Commander of Naval Surface Forces since August 2014 and served as the director of surface warfare (OPNAV N96) at the Pentagon before that, will retire once Brown takes command as SWO Boss.