I wrote TWO YEARS AGO (ohmygosh, has it really been that long?!) about what to expect at a Change of Command.
I recently had an opportunity to attend a Change of Charge, which is different than a Change of Command.
Some Naval aviation communities have “detachments” in various locations. For example, there is a detachment of C-2 Grayhounds where we are stationed. The detachment belongs to a larger squadron that is based in the United States. Their Officer in Charge is an O-4 Department Head! Imagine THAT job as your DH tour! Talk about a LOT of responsibility!!!
Since the OIC isn’t the commanding officer of the squadron, the transition ceremony is called a “Change of Charge”.
A Change of Charge is a shorter version of the Change of Command ceremony. It has less pomp and circumstance, but it’s still a formal, nice ceremony. At the ceremony I attended, there was a guest speaker and the outgoing and incoming OICs spoke. As with a Change of Command, there was a small reception following the ceremony.
If you’re attending, I recommend wearing nice, “Sunday best” clothes. I’ve recently been wearing nice pants, wedges, and a blouse to these kind of events, and I always bring a wrap incase the room is cold. Other ladies wear dresses and nice heels or flats. I recommend dressing conservatively for the ceremony (shoulders covered or a conservatively cut dress or blouse).
If you’re unaffiliated with the squadron or aren’t personal friends of the OIC, I recommend sitting in the back of the crowd. In fact, there will be reserved seats for the invited guests, so be sure to leave the reserved seats empty for the squadron spouses and invited guests.