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By Kristi Britt, Public Affairs Specialist
Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) said fair winds and following seas to Deputy Shipyard Commander (XO) Capt. Daniel Rossler, who recently turned over duties in Oct. in preparation for his new assignment as Commander, Regional Support Group Groton. He’s been part of the America’s Shipyard family for four years, doing his part to help build lasting relationships with the Sailors and civilians onboard and stationed across the nation.
“I’m so proud of the work we’ve accomplished during my time here and the work our team will continue to accomplish as I take the next step in my career,” said Capt. Rossler. “America’s Shipyard truly is a testament to our mission to service the fleet and nation and our Sailors and civilians coming together to get the job done is something I’ll always be proud of.”
Capt. Rossler began his naval journey in November of 1982. Unsure of what he wanted to do for his future, a friend who had previously joined the Navy talked him into trying it out.
“I signed up for six years as a nuclear electrician and it’s been a long, interesting ride since that day,” he said. “I never thought I’d still be in the Navy today – and honestly the whole journey has been constantly finding new and exciting paths that I had no idea existed until I stepped beyond those comfort zones and discovered those opportunities. My entire career I’ve had fellow Sailors and civilians around me who helped shape me into the person I am today – offering help, advice, and presenting me with ways to better myself both personally and professionally. And I wanted to give back to everyone I could in the same way – influencing others to discover and work to accomplish their goals.”
When he first entered NNSY four years ago, he was presented a specific challenge from then Shipyard Commander, Capt. Scott Brown. His duty – be engaged with the shipyard from all levels and best determine how to better engage the Sailors onboard into the work being done at NNSY.
“I got involved with the senior leaders and learning the ins and out of America’s Shipyard,” he said. “I would venture out onto the waterfront, poke my head into the shop and see what everyone was doing and working on. I would take the time to learn from the workforce what their duties were, their skills, their drive. We have more than 10,000 civilians here and 700 Sailors, all with their own talents. Each person could bring something to the table in aiding the mission. So we looked for more ways to get those Sailors also incorporated into the shops, learning from those masters in the trades. There’s been significant growth in everyone working together and I hope it continues to climb in success even after I’m gone.”
Capt. Rossler added, “I got to know so many people during my time here, and I made sure I was available to whomever needed me. I would help remove roadblocks for folks and help develop them to reach their goals. I would provide them the guidance they needed to achieve their own goals. Seeing someone get promoted, awarded, or exceling in their journeys has been some of the most special moments during my time here.”
During his time in the Navy, Capt. Rossler was designated as a limited duty officer (LDO), an officer of the United States Navy who was selected for commissioning based on skill and expertise, with strong specific technical knowledge and seasoned leadership. And in Aug. 2019, he was awarded the “Silver Eagle” – an honor bestowed upon the senior-most LDO in the Navy. The “Silver Eagle” was created in 2002 in recognition of the dedicated careers of LDO personnel. As tradition holds, the senior-most LDO in the Navy assumes the mantle of “Silver Eagle” and maintains possession of a two-foot tall eagle statuette until that officer retires from active service and passes along the honor.
The “Silver Eagle” is charged with not only reminding the LDO community of the challenges and accomplishments faced during their careers but also of their responsibility to mentor the future of the Navy: its Sailors and LDOs.
“It’s been an honor to hold the 'Silver Eagle' mantle for these two years,” said Capt. Rossler. “This honor represents so much history and dedication and I’m proud to be part of it.”
As he prepared himself for his next command, it was time for him to pass on the torch – presenting the “Silver Eagle” to its next recipient and the first female LDO to be presented the award, Capt. Heather Walton at Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. Capt. Walton arrived for a small ceremony in the NNSY Heritage Room Oct. 14 where Capt. Rossler presented her with the “Silver Eagle” statue.
“I’m honored to be part of this legacy and carry it on for the next couple years,” she said. “I hope I can live up to all those who came before me. The past eagles were all very impressive in everything they did and I am honored to be joining them. Thank you for your service Capt. Rossler and for everything you’ve done for our nation. I’ve got it from here.”
Capt. Rossler will officially start at his new command in Dec.; however, he looks back fondly on his time at NNSY.
“I’m going to miss it here. There’s something so special about America’s Shipyard and the hard work being done here for our nation,” said Capt. Rossler. “There’s always going to be challenges but I know our workforce will face them head-on. At NNSY, every day counts to get those ships back to the fleet. Keep up the fight and never give an inch – you’ll get the job done.”
He added, “I’ve seen so much in my time here and our workforce overcoming obstacles to meet the mission. COVID-19 is a prime example of us coming together to meet the needs of our people, the trial and error to make sure we have enhanced screenings for our team. We’re continuing to make adjustments to best meet those needs but we took the challenge head-on and are working to keep our people safe. That’s something I hope I’m remembered for as I take my leave from America’s Shipyard. I hope the work we’ve done to build those relationships between our military and civilians continues to thrive even beyond what we’ve accomplished these last few years. I hope we continue to surge past our goals and continue to innovate. I hope we continue to build up our workforce as well as the community beyond our gates. I’m going to miss being able to walk around this shipyard and meeting those who get the job done. I’ll miss America’s Shipyard – but I’m happy I could be part of it’s expansive history for even a short time. I’ll keep watching NNSY succeed from afar. And with that, Rossler out!”