GROTON, Conn. -- Cmdr. Michael Majewski, a Start High School graduate and 23-year Navy veteran, assumed command today of the USS Toledo fast-attack submarine during a ceremony at the Naval Submarine Base New London.
"I'm going back to the tip of the spear to conduct the missions that our nation requires of us," Commander Majewski said during the 100-minute Change of Command ceremony before an audience of his crew of 157 plus civilians that included his parents and a dozen others from the Toledo area who traveled to southeastern Connecticut for the event.
Commander Majewski previously served aboard three other submarines in the Los Angeles class, the same submarine class as the Toledo, and was most recently assigned as naval special projects officer under the Joint Chiefs of Staff, director of intelligence in Washington.
He becomes the ninth commander of the Toledo since its February, 1995 commissioning, and relieves Cmdr. Sam Geiger, the boat's captain since July, 2011 who led a delegation of the submarine's crew on a visit to Toledo last summer.
In an interview before the ceremony, Commander Majewski said he expects to cultivate the relationship between his vessel and its namesake city. During interviews with the boat's crew in recent weeks, he said, "95 percent of them asked me, 'Where do I sign up for the next trip back to Toledo?' "
Among his invited guests was Irma Petersen, a retired home-economics teacher under whom Commander Majewski took a living-skills class as a junior at Start, and her husband, Pete Petersen, who was a German submariner during World War II.
"I'm overwhelmed. I'm so proud of him, and so proud to be a part of his life," said Mrs. Petersen, whom the commander credited with being an unofficial counselor for him in high school as well as a teacher.
The Toledo, which has been at a Connecticut shipyard for modernization during the past 18 months, is expected to begin a series of training missions soon, with Commander Majewski expecting an overseas deployment afterward.