DAHLGREN, Va. – Capt. Casey Plew, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) commanding officer was officially promoted to Captain, Aug. 30.
A promotion ceremony to commemorate his achievement was held at the parade field outside NSWCDD headquarters, where Rear Adm. Eric Ver Hage, Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Centers commander, served as the presiding officer and administered the oath of office.
“This is a big deal, a major pivot, a major change,” said Ver Hage. “You got here by doing things right, by achieving, by improved relationships, by solving hard problems, and your focus is on Sailors and their well being. Your success in the future is not measured by doing the right things, that’s a given – but by doing the right things.”
Family, friends, NSWCDD employees and honored guests – including former NSWCDD commanding officers – joined Plew to witness this significant milestone in his career as a naval officer.
“He’s a great man, teammate, a terrific naval officer, and I’m excited about his service as a Navy captain,” said Ver Hage, pointing out that he was glad to return to Dahlgren for another milestone in Plew’s career. In April, the admiral presided over a change of command ceremony on the Potomac River Test Range when Plew took command of NSWCDD.
“As you step forward to join our senior ranks and help lead our Navy, your responsibilities are even larger,” said Ver Hage, while speaking to Plew before the crowd. “Your background, experience, and training are all coming together and your skills complement that of your colleagues as you and your team help us at the warfare centers help us to deliver capability and meet our obligations to our Sailors and Marines and ultimately defend our country.”
At that point, Ver Hage administered the oath of office which concluded as Plew stated that he will “faithfully discharge the duties of the office of captain in the U.S. Navy on which I am about to embark. So help me God.”
In his remarks, Plew thanked his family and friends prior to his message and “awesomeness of Dahlgren” theme.
“My mom has been there literally since the beginning – not only in my life, but my Navy life,” said Plew. “She and dad honored me by putting on my ensign bars 22 years ago. Now she is here to help me become a Captain. Thank you mom for everything.”
Plew thanked all in attendance for celebrating the awesomeness of Dahlgren with him at the ceremony.
“It is the great work you do that keeps our nation the most dominant nation on earth,” said Plew.
The captain turned his attention to those he described as the “Dahlgren team” – a workforce of more than 8,000 people comprising mostly government civilians and contractors as well as active duty military members.
“I have learned in the last several months that no one knows where we are, but most know who we are,” said Plew, in terms of the Naval Surface Warfare Center located in Dahlgren, Va. “That was the vision of Rear Adm. Wayne Meyer several years ago.”
Meyer – regarded as the father of the Navy's Aegis Weapons System –had the foresight and vision as the Aegis Program manager to realize the Aegis Weapon System, and later the Aegis Combat System would be the centerpiece of the Navy’s surface Fleet for the next 50 plus years. He commissioned a study that identified NSWC Dahlgren Division as the organization best suited to take on this responsibility. Recommendations also included locating two major Aegis facilities at Dahlgren: one a computer center, the other, a systems center focused on modernization and support.
“On purpose, Admiral Meyer put the Aegis ‘thinking’ at The Center for Surface Combat Systems in Dahlgren and the ‘training’ at The Aegis Training and Readiness Center in Dahlgren,” said Plew. “This was collocated where the research and development of surface weapons systems already existed at the warfare center. He knew that if we worked together as a team, we could deliver lethality to the Fleet. To be clear, lethality does not equal capability or capacity. Lethality is a weapon system that outmatches the enemies’ systems; it is delivered on time, works as designed, and is coupled with a trained Sailor. It takes an awesome team to do that.”
Prior to assuming responsibilities as the NSWCDD commanding officer on April 24, 2019, Plew was the Large Surface Combatant director at Program Executive Office Ships.
Among his tours, Plew served as the Zumwalt Class Program Office (PMS 500) program manager representative in San Diego, Calif., executing the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) Post-Delivery Availability.
In his third sea tour, Plew was the weapons officer aboard the USS Decatur (DDG 73) prior to assuming duties as the ship’s combat systems officer. From 2013 through 2016, he served as the executive officer and then commanding officer of Beachmaster Unit 1.
A native of Weaverville, Calif., Plew is a 1997 graduate from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history and a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy through the university’s Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program.
In October 2009, Plew completed his Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he was a Gravely warrior-scholar studying ballistic missile defense plans and operations. In 2016, he earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif.
He is a surface warfare officer, an acquisition professional, a member of the Acquisition Corps, and Program Management level III certified.
Guests joined Plew and his family for a reception following the ceremony on the parade field.