By MC2(SW/AW) Daniel Meshel
Reserve Component Command
VR-58 held a change of command ceremony Jan. 25 at NAS Jacksonville Hangar 1000 where Cmdr. Anthony Gutierrez assumed command from Cmdr. Richard Shettler.
Capt. Mark Bailey, commander, Fleet Logistics Support Wing, served as guest speaker for the event while AEC Raymond Battle provided the invocation and benediction.
Framed by one of the squadron's C-40A Clipper aircraft, friends, family and squadron members listened as Bailey recognized Shettler's achievements - noting his accomplishments and unique leadership style spanning more than 30 years of service to the nation.
"[Shettler] has brought to this squadron levels of success that are absolutely unprecedented," said Bailey, who also noted that Shettler's success could not have been achieved without the sacrifices and support of his family, from his parents to his wife and children.
Quoting Pulitzer Prize winning author Walt Whitman, Bailey said, "The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on. As I look at the men and women of VR-58 and witness their unparalleled dedication to their critical mission, it is clear to me that skipper Shettler has passed the final test as a leader with flying colors."
Reserving his speech for the retirement ceremony following the change of command, Shettler thanked his family, friends and crew who served with him and then read his orders.
Gutierrez assumed command of VR-58 following the reading of his orders and took to the podium to address the audience, as well as his new crew.
"I am going to make three promises to the men and women of VR-58," said Gutierrez. "I will do my best to provide you the tools and work environment to operate safely and effectively every day. I am going to do my best to provide you with the potential and experience to manage the future of your careers. And lastly, I promise that all of you will have fun here."
"I am excited to assume command and I have big shoes to fill because Commander Shettler was an outstanding leader," said Gutierrez after having the command pin attached to his uniform by his wife, Kathy. "I'm here to serve the troops and carry on the tradition of VR-58."
Born in Dorchester, Mass., Gutierrez graduated from Bridgewater State College in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in aviation science. He graduated from Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1995 and accumulated more than 3,500 mishap-free flight hours in naval aircraft. In his civilian career, he is a first officer on a Boeing 777 with FedEx Express.
Gutierrez's awards include the Air Medal, earned while flying more than 22 combat missions during Operation Noble Anvil, the Navy Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, three NATO medals as well as various unit, campaign and service medals. In February 2012, he reported to VR-58 and served as executive officer since October 2012.
When Shettler passed through side boys, the change of command ceremony transitioned to a dual retirement ceremony for Shettler and Capt. John Donovan.
Donovan, who served more than 30 years, was designated a naval flight surgeon in 1979. He logged more than 900 hours of flight time in 16 different naval aircraft. Donovan retired alongside Shettler to conclude the day's ceremonies.