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Home : Media : News
NEWS | July 10, 2020

Carderock Division Changes Command

By Kelley Sterling, NSWCCD Public Affairs

Capt. Todd E. Hutchison relieved Capt. Cedric J. McNeal as commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Carderock Division in a ceremony July 10, 2020, in West Bethesda, Maryland.

McNeal, who was the 38th commanding officer at Carderock, thanked as many people as he could during the ceremony, focusing on the contributions and talents of each department.

During his time at Carderock, McNeal saw his fair share of both successes and challenges. He commended the people of Carderock for their steadfastness in support of the mission.

“Carderock has the ability to navigate - as demonstrated during this time - through whatever challenges that may be presented and still continue to excel, deliver and be known for the pillar of ship and submarine design,” McNeal said.

Capt. Michael Richman, chief of staff for Naval Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers, presented the Legion of Merit Medal to McNeal for his performance as the commanding officer of Carderock Division.

“Capt. McNeal ensured NSWC Carderock’s world-class facilities supported continued delivery of capability, with improved material condition of testing infrastructure, across its various acoustic measurement sites,” according to the award citation. “His leadership was crucial in finalizing the acquisition of the Olney Federal Support Center, enabling NSWC Carderock to accept more tasking to address emerging threats in developing ship and submarine training systems, acoustic, electromagnetic and topside signature solutions, and next generation platform designs.”

Richman then presented McNeal with a plaque, thanking him on behalf of Rear Adm. Kevin Byrne, commander of Naval Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers.

“It’s important in this day of great power competition that all the divisions are giving 100% to the mission,” Richman said. “Certainly, Carderock is doing that; and that’s a testament to, not just the workforce at Carderock, but also to your leadership.”

McNeal is headed to Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) as the Amphibious Warfare Program Manager (PMS 377). He had been in a program office before coming to Carderock, and he said, in a sense, he “grew up” there. However, he said that having been the commanding officer of a Warfare Center gave him a renewed perspective going back into program management.

“I have much more appreciation for the Warfare Centers and what they bring in the way of talent, technical expertise and support for the enterprise,” McNeal said. 

In closing, McNeal again thanked all the Carderock employees for making his experience something he will always remember.

“With some of you – we’ve cried, prayed, laughed and argued – I guess that makes us family,” McNeal said. “But, most importantly each of you have inspired me to be better, and while your military leadership changes today, your push to continue to be the best should never change.” 

Hutchison came to Carderock from NAVSEA, serving as a deputy assistant program manager in the Guided-Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) Program Office (PMS 515), where he worked with McNeal. Earlier in his career, he was the commanding officer of USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), the culmination of his career as a surface warfare officer.  

When taking command, Hutchison thanked the people in his life and said he was honored to become the 39th commanding officer of Carderock.

“From its start over 120 years ago at the Experimental Model Basin at the Navy Yard, with Adm. David Taylor as its first commanding officer, to its move to this location just before World War II, and over the years to the expansions to sites all over the country, the one constant has been the unprecedented contributions the women and men of Carderock have made to our Navy and our country,” Hutchison said. “I am thrilled to become a member of this team, and excited to see what the next several years will bring.”