Suffolk Navy command under new leadership

Published 10:07 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Navy personnel held a ceremony at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts on Wednesday to say goodbye to their cherished leader and usher in their next commanding officer.

Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command of Suffolk conducted the Change of Command ceremony to formally recognize Capt. Julia Slattery as the seventh commanding officer of NCDOC Command Task Force 1020, relieving Capt. Sean Heritage of command.

NCDOC is responsible for global defense of Navy networks against cyber threats in collaboration with the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies, as well as the law enforcement community.

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“There is no other command I wish to lead, and no other place I wish to be than right here today in front of this team,” Slattery said at the ceremony to Navy personnel, city officials and family members that filled the auditorium.

Slattery has served in the Navy for 24 years. She graduated from the National Defense University Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy in 2015. From 2012 to 2014, she commanded the Navy Information Operations Command Bahrain, which provided direct support to Commander Fifth Fleet in Operation Enduring Freedom.

“When I stand before this much talent, a command and task force of such intensity, I can’t help but get excited about our future together,” Slattery said.

She came to Suffolk with her husband, Christopher — himself the commanding officer of Navy Information Operations Command of Norfolk — and their two children, and they have enjoyed a warm reception since their arrival, she said.

“We have been met with warmth and welcome for every moment we’ve been here,” she said. “We’re thrilled to be part of this community.”

Heritage admitted that he was an avid reader during his remarks and used that metaphor to speak fondly of the 727 days he spent as the sixth commander of NCDOC CTF 1020.

This chapter was characterized by creativity, critical thinking and collective ownership, he said, as he sought to shape his environment and cultivate the work that would lead to results.

“My role here was not to generate outcomes, nor was it to dictate processes,” he said. “My role was to attract talent, inspire teammates and foster a culture where even our most junior teammates were the ones generating those outcomes.”

When it came time to find the best candidate to relieve Heritage, he enthusiastically lobbied for Slattery.

“I have long admired Julia and knew she was the one to whom I wanted to pass the baton,” he said. “She is the leader best equipped to help NCDOC build upon the previous six chapters.”

He assured his team that the positivity and focus that drives them is safe under Julia’s leadership.

“Buckle up,” he said. “Chapter seven is going to be even more amazing.”