The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) held a change of command ceremony in the ship's hangar bay at Naval Station Norfolk on July 28.
More than 1,000 people were in attendance to see Capt. Nicolas Dienna, a native of Drexel Hill, PA, take the helm from Capt. Ryan B. Scholl, a native from Beltsville, MD, as Truman's commanding officer in a ceremony presided by Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8, Rear Adm. Dale Horan. During the ceremony, Horan presented Scholl with the Legion of Merit for his superior performance.
"Doc (Capt. Scholl), thank you for an incredibly successful command tour," said Horan. "It's been a pleasure watching. Blade (Capt. Dieanna), welcome. You're the perfect choice for this. You've got the right mind set, the right intelligence, and you're going to have a blast—enjoy it. Congratulations and welcome aboard."
During his tenure, Scholl led Truman through a condensed shipyard maintenance period and workup cycle and an 8-month extended deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). During deployment, the strike group made significant contributions to degrade ISIL as well as disaggregated to support OIR from both the Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea—marking the first time during OIR a U.S. carrier conducted airstrikes from the Mediterranean.
Following deployment, Scholl led Truman through a successful, on-time, Periodic Incremental Availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. As evidence of the Scholl’s and his crew's sustained achievement, Truman earned the 2016 Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic CVN Battle Efficiency award; the James "Jim Dog" Ramage Award; and the Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award—among others.
"An aircraft carrier—this fantastical beast that goes to sea—is one hundred thousand tons of lifeless metal without you shipmates," said Scholl. "She does great things when we are on here, fighting the fight both in the shipyard and out at sea. Continue to give this ship its great personality, and all of the same hard work you have given her before."
As Scholl thanked the crew for their hard work and dedication, he reminded them there was still work to be done. "Right now, shipmates, you need to get ready to take this ship on workups, get her ready, and then go execute this nation's business once again and do what we need to do for our country."
Scholl, who is transferring to commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, also expressed his excitement for the new commanding officer to build on to the Truman standard of excellence. The new commanding officer is no stranger to leading an East Coast carrier in combat operations.
Dienna previously served as the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) executive officer and the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) commanding officer. A seasoned pilot, Dienna has accumulated more than 2,900 flight hours and 800 arrested landings. Dienna's most recent assignment was as the assistant chief of staff for air wing, training and readiness at Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic.
"Harry S. Truman once said, it's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit," said Dieanna. "Teams not individuals win championships, and teams win our nation's wars. The team here today—representing thousands of sailors, engineers and artisans —is simply the best, and I'm greatly honored to now be a part of that team."
The Truman is currently homeported in Naval Station Norfolk and is beginning a rigorous workup cycle to prepare to return to sea and conduct combat operations.