Taking Command

…with Transformational Leadership


By popular request, a republication of an article (with some revisions) and links to a story written by a submarine officer who started his seagoing career aboard the USS Bremerton.

I discovered this superb piece of writing by Ron LaSalvia, Captain, U.S. Navy (ret), former Commanding Officer of the USS Montpelier (SSN 765), where he served from 1999 through 2001. His article is titled, “Taking Command: The Crew Is Only as Good as the Captain”  in which he describes the major challenges he faced when becoming a CO.

To read Ron’s leadership story CLICK HERE

Some of the greatest stories in literature are about captains of warships. It is through the struggles and successes of these revered individuals that we get a sense of all the intimate challenges of preparing a ship for the lethal necessities of war. The heroes are often leaders who earn the respect of their crews in the process of forging them into a vital fighting force.

The responsibility of becoming a commander of a U.S. Navy submarine is a privilege few officers achieve. The rigorous process takes at least 20 years of service. Of the individuals who are awarded a command, some embody exceptional vision, skills, and character that are transformational and as a result their crews and ships become cut above the competition in the unforgiving realm of undersea warfare and survival.

Los Angeles 688i Class Fast Attack submarine  (Image source: Google)


Ron LaSalvia, served onboard USS Bremerton (SSN 698) from 1982-1985 where he began learning the ropes of being a submarine officer.

Click on the link below or photo of the young Ensign LaSalvia to go to Captain LaSalvia’s article.


Mr. Ron LaSalvia aboard the USS Bremerton SSN 698 during an expeditionary patrol in the Western Pacific in 1983(photo by Challen Yee).


Click on the links above to go to the article!


“Master-One, bearing… mark, angle on the bow…” (image source google).


USS Bremerton, the most senior not yet de-commissioned submarine in the United States Navy, is currently at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard preparing for her date with destiny. Decom ceremony and reunion in Bremerton are tentatively scheduled for Spring of 2021, that puts BadFish on course for a 40 year run.

Cheers – from RMCS(SS) Don Jones, Plankowner, SSN698



Join the Movement. Are you passionate about preserving the USS Bremerton in any way shape or form? Do you wish to be involved before, during and after her decommissioning in whatever works are needed to establish the memory of 698 for the benefit of the public and of naval history? You are invited to a new closed group forum on Facebook “SaveThe698” to be involved in public discussion related to Saving 698. You can see the group site by clicking HERE.

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