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Brook joins me in wishing you all the best this holiday season and especially to thank you for your hard work in making 2013 another great year for Naval District Washington. I am honored to lead such an outstanding & dedicated team.

As we get together with our families this holiday season let’s not forget our role of service to the Fleet, Fighter and Family -- that we have shipmates deployed all around the world standing the watch, defending freedom, giving hope and securing a brighter future for future generations of Americans and others, that what we do can make all the difference to many who depend on our services. At home this year has been filled with unprecedented challenges; but through it all, you have carried on with tremendous professionalism and compassion. It has been your individual commitment and tireless effort that led to the success of our tenants, customers, partners and ultimately our region. Naval District Washington, you can all be justifiably proud in what we have accomplished!

Finally, and most importantly, please remember to take care of yourselves, your shipmates and your families. Too often, shipmates or family members are affected by bad decisions during the holidays -- from drinking and driving, suicide, domestic abuse, drug abuse, the holidays for some bring real dangers that can destroy lives. And unlike the hazards faced by our Sailors and Marines performing their demanding missions, these risks are usually not hard to manage. The two seconds it takes to put on a seat belt, reach out to a friend, or intervene in a situation before it becomes a sexual assault, can save you or a friend, a lifetime of suffering - or a life.

We wish you and your families’ peace, happiness and great success in all that you do this holiday season and in the coming year. Thank you for your dedication, selfless service and sacrifice. We are proud to serve alongside each of you. Keep up the great work and let’s get ready to have a great 2014!

All the Best,

Rear Admiral Rich

88th Commandant