Navy Adm. Robert F. Willard, left, shakes hands with Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III during the U.S. Pacific Command change-of-command ceremony on Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, March 9, 2012. Willard passed Pacom's reins to Locklear and retired after almost 39 years of service. DOD Photo by Glenn Fawcett.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan Brig. Gen. Thomas Deale (right) accepts the guidon from Maj. Gen. Tod Wolters during the 455th Air Expeditonary Wing change of command ceremony at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Mar. 1, 2012. Deale is the 455th AEW commander and Wolters, the presiding officer, is the commander of the 9th Air and Space Expeditonary Task Force. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka Engblom.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, attend a ceremony at the Pentagon, Feb. 10, 2012. Mabus announced the naming of the Navy's newest next variant littoral combat ship, USS Gabrielle Giffords, at the ceremony. Giffords was critically wounded in 2011 by a gunman in Tucson, Ariz. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley.
From left, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the last commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, attend a ceremony to retire colors from the U.S. Iraq mission on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Dec. 20, 2011. DOD photo by Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Anitkabir Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 16, 2011. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo.
Iraqi military and police personnel stand in formation during the Government of Iraq Day of Commitment Ceremony at the Al Faw Palace on Victory Base Complex, Iraq, Dec. 1, 2011. The ceremony commemorated the sacrifices and accomplishments of U.S. and Iraqi service members. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo.
Brent W. West, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works DDG 1000 Program Manager, delivers remarks during the keel laying ceremony for the Zumwalt-class destroyer DDG 1000. The Zumwalt-class is a new class of multi-mission U.S. Navy surface combatant ship designed to operate as part of a joint maritime fleet, assisting Marine strike forces ashore as well as performing littoral, air and sub-surface warfare. U.S. Navy photo courtesy General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Michael C. Nutter.
Brig. Gen. Patrick Sanders, commanding officer for Task Force Helmand, speaks to the Estonian soldiers during a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Bastion, Nov. 22. The ceremony marked the end of a six-month tour for Estonian Company 12. Photo by Cpl. Meredith Brown.
Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division mounted color guard participate in the pass-in-review portion of the division's change of command ceremony on Fort Carson, Colo., Nov. 16, 2011. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade.
U.S. Soldiers with 40th Combat Aviation Brigade hands over the responsibility of theater aviation to the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade Nov. 9, 2011 during a ceremony on the flightline at Camp Taji, Iraq. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Tracci Dorgan, U.S. Army.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, center, cuts the ribbon during the dedication ceremony for the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. With Panetta, from left, Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Marine Staff Sgt. Glen Silva, Army Staff Sgt. Brett Graveline, Rear Adm. Alton L. Stocks, commander of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Air Force Senior Airman Emanuel Thompson. The 2.4 million-square-foot facility is the world's largest military hospital and will provide state-of-the-art care for about a million beneficiaries per year. U.S. Navy photo by Sean Brennan.
Tech. Sgt. LaMarcus Molden recites the oath of enlistment along with 125 other service members during a re-enlistment ceremony Oct. 5, 2011, at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. Molden is a 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Iraq personnel manager. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo.
Sailors take the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting operations in the western Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Terry Matlock.
NORFOLK (Oct. 29, 2011) World War II submarine veteran Joe Cox passes the long glass to set the first watch during the commissioning ceremony for the Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) at Naval Station Norfolk. California is the eighth Virginia-class submarine and will be homeported in Groton, Conn. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric C. Tretter.
U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Kominiak, the 1225th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Task Force Resolute commander, issues the oath of enlistment to five Soldiers during a mass re-enlistment ceremony at the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, TF-Resolute motorpool, on Kandahar Airfield, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan Oct. 24, 2011. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Burnett.
NORFOLK (Oct. 12, 2011) Cmdr. Drew Ehlers, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), and Sailors assigned to Cole salute after the presentation of a wreath at the USS Cole Memorial during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk. The Norfolk-based ship was damaged by a suicide bombing Oct. 12, 2000 while refueling in the Port of Aden in Yemen, killing 17 and wounding 39 Sailors. Cole returned to the fleet in 2002 and has deployed four times since the attack. U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Elizabeth Williams.
An Iraqi air force airman practices presenting the colors Sept. 29, 2011, at Sather Air Base, Iraq, during joint honor guard training with Air Force honor guard members. Two Iraqi airmen are learning to be ceremonial guardians of the colors in preparation for the Brig. Gen. Anthony Rock’s promotion to major general Oct. 4, 2011. Rock is the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing commander. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mike Meares.
KEY WEST, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2011) The guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) is commissioned during a sunset ceremony at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael K. McNabb.
U.S. Service members recite the Oath of Allegiance given by Robert Daum during a naturalization ceremony at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Sept. 28, 2011. Daum is the deputy district director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bangkok, Thailand. DoD photo by Sgt. Edwin Rodriguez, U.S. Army.
KEY WEST, Fla. (Sept. 23, 2011) The guided-missile destroyer pre-commissioning unit (PCU) Spruance (DDG 111) arrives at Naval Air Station Key West for its formal commissioning ceremony to be held Oct. 1. The ship, named in honor of Adm. Raymond Spruance, commander of Carrier Task Force 16 during the World War II Battle of Midway, is commanded by Cmdr. Tate Westbrook of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Spruance is the second Navy ship to bear the name and the 61st ship in the Arleigh Burke-class of Navy destroyers. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael K. McNabb.
MOBILE, Ala. (Sept. 8, 2011) The Military Sealift Command joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), the first of 10 Navy joint high-speed vessels designed for rapid intra-theater transport of troops and military equipment, prepares for its Sept. 17 christening ceremony at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The 338-foot-long aluminum catamarans are designed to be fast, flexible and maneuverable even in shallow waters, making them ideal for transporting troops and equipment quickly within a theater of operations. U.S. Navy photo Courtesy Austal USA.
Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, community members gather together for a moment of silence during a flag dedication ceremony at the Craig Joint Theatre Hospital here Sept. 11, 2011. The flag, provided by Rep. Don Young of Alaska, was flown over Washington D.C and was is displayed in the emergency room entrance overhang. The flag will be the first thing injured personnel see when entering through the emergency room. U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Krista Rose.
PEARL HARBOR (Sept. 2, 2011) Members of a U.S. Navy ceremonial guard fire a rifle volley during the 66th anniversary of the End of World War II commemoration ceremony aboard the Battleship Missouri. Service members assigned to various commands in Hawaii, veterans and government leaders attended the event. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Stirrup.
U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus reviews troops at his retirement ceremony and Armed Forces Farewell on Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall, Va., Aug. 31, 2011. Petraeus retired from the military after a 37-year career to become the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley.