Photo by Ms. Phyllis Norwood
Article by ENS Robert Conkey
On Friday June 10th the command of the Boston Navy ROTC Consortium formally changed hands from CAPT Steven M. Benke to CAPT James E. Horten in a change of command ceremony. With an 18th floor view from Boston University’s west campus, downtown Boston and the Charles River were a perfect backdrop for CAPT Benke to finish out four great years in Boston.
After both CAPT Benke and CAPT Horten were piped aboard, the crew of the USS Constitution presented the colors for the playing of the national anthem. ENS Conner Love then gave the invocation to pray for both the incoming and outgoing commanding officers. From there, CAPT Benke gave his remarks thanking his friends, family, and staff for their hard work and support over four years. He spoke of how rewarding he found the job to mentor, lead, and grow Midshipmen from high school graduates and commission them as Naval officers.
Following CAPT Benke’s remarks, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for his leadership and success in meeting the NROTC mission and accession goals. He was also presented a framed picture of the Boston Battalion, with the frame made of wood and copper from the hull of the USS Constitution. From there, each Captain read his orders and CAPT Horten formally accepted total responsibility, authority, and accountability from CAPT Benke. CAPT Horten followed with his concise remarks, stating that he is ready and looking forward to assuming command and taking on the role of Commanding Officer of the Boston NROTC Consortium. After a closing benediction from ENS Love wishing them good will in their future endeavors the Captains were piped ashore and everyone enjoyed a reception in the back.
CAPT Horten’s last duty station was Commanding Officer of Cornell University’s Naval ROTC unit. From Boston, CAPT Benke’s next tour of duty will be in Norfolk, Virginia working with Submarine Forces Atlantic.