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Ingraham Holds Change of Command

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080326-14
Release Date: 3/26/2008 4:28:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Kulp, Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Group Public Affairs

LIMASSOL, Cyprus (NNS) -- USS Ingraham (FFG 61) held a change of command ceremony March 20, while in port in Limassol.

Cmdr. Matthew D. Ovios relieved Cmdr. Richard M. Odom as commanding officer.

Odom served as Ingraham's commanding officer since taking charge Sept. 15, 2006.

"The experience of being in command of a United States warship has been the most rewarding and most humbling experience in my life," said Odom. "I enjoyed every second of every minute of every day aboard this ship, working for, and with, the most talented and motivated crew any commanding officer could ask for."

Before Odom left for his new tour with the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as the Surface, Strike and Tomahawk Section Head in the Surface Warfare Directorate, he reflected on his time on the ship.

"There is no tour in my Navy career that will compare to this one. This was it; this was the pinnacle," said Odom.

Odom enlisted in the Navy in 1983 and attended the Broadened Opportunity for Officer's Selection and Training. In 1998, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from San Diego State University.

He has served aboard USS Buchanan (DDG 14), USS Valley Forge (CG 50), USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60), USS Princeton (CG 59), USS Wasp (LHD 1), and destroyer USS Fife (DD 991). Odom also served at the Naval Post Graduate School and on the staffs of the Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet, Propulsion Examining Board; the Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense Directorate of the Joint Staff J8; and U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

Ovios, a native of Martha's Vineyard, Mass., received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1990 from Colby College in Waterville, Maine. He also earned a Master of Arts degree from the United States Naval War College in 2003.

He has served aboard USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51), USS Kauffman (FFG 59), and USS Decatur (DDG 73).

Ovios also served at the United States Naval Academy, as an instructor in the Seamanship and Navigation Department, and on the staffs of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 26 and the Chief of Naval Operations, as the Surface, Strike and Tomahawk Section Head in the Surface Warfare Directorate.

As Ingraham's commanding officer, Ovios will lead more than 250 Sailors.

"I am honored to take command of a ship with such a fine reputation. I especially appreciate the warm reception and hard work the crew put into making the transition seamless," said Ovios. "The fact that we got underway less than an hour after the change of command is a testament to their professionalism."

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