Boca Raton Native Dennis Farrell Leaves Command Of USS Cole, Is Pentagon Bound

Boca Raton native Commander Dennis Farrell is leaving the USS Cole for a Pentagon assignment.

Boca Raton native Commander Dennis Farrell is leaving the USS Cole for a Pentagon assignment.

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — It’s an impressive career and promotion for Boca Raton native Dennis Farrell.

Commander Farrell — who has led the USS Cole and its 331 sailors — is now heading for the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

This is the official announcement from U.S. Navy Community Affairs:

PIRAEUS, Greece – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) held a change of command ceremony while in port on Jan. 21.

Cmdr. David Wroe, Executive Officer of Cole, was the master of ceremonies as Cmdr. Dennis Farrell was relieved by Cmdr. James Quaresimo.

As Commanding Officer, Farrell led Cole’s 331 sailors during a successful completion of a complete training cycle; Joint Warrior 14-1; a robust NATO exercise; Fleet Week New York 2014; and a Deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea with over 49,288 miles traveled.

During the ceremony, Farrell addressed his crew, reflecting on his time as commanding officer.

“I’ve said goodbye to many commands, but none will ever be as special to me as Cole,” said Farrell. “Shipmates, it has been a profound honor and privilege to have been your Captain over these last 18 months. We have done things no other ship has done. We have shown our country and the world what a mighty U.S. Navy Warship can do. We’ve traveled far from home to the Irish Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea doing the nation’s business. You have played like champions everyday and will never be defeated. Thank you for your service to our great nation.”

Following the time honored tradition; both Farrell and Quaresimo read their orders to the assembled crew. With an exchange of salutes, Quaresimo, Cole’s former Executive Officer, assumed command.

“It is a great honor to have the privilege of commanding Cole.” said Quaresimo. “The men and women of Cole impress me every day.  Cole is the best ship in the Navy- a testament to the resolve of our great nation that we will not be deterred.”

Farrell will report to the Pentagon and serve in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

In concert with the change of command, administrative command of Cole transferred from Commander Destroyer Squadron Two Eight to Commander Destroyer Squadron Two Two.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

Here is Commander Farrell’s bio:

A native of Boca Raton, Fla., Commander Farrell graduated with Merit from the United States Naval Academy in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering.

In March 1996, Cmdr. Farrell reported to the USS Antietam (CG 54) and served as Communications Officer and Strike Officer. While in Antietam, he deployed to the Arabian Gulf with the Kitty Hawk Battle Group in support of Operation Southern Watch and qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer.

From 1998 to 2000, Cmdr. Farrell served in USS Monsoon (PC 4) as Executive Officer and Weapons Officer. Aboard Monsoon, he deployed to both the Western Pacific and also to Central America and the Caribbean, earning two Battle Efficiency Awards.

Following his tour in Monsoon, Cmdr. Farrell reported to the Surface Warfare Officer School and served as a Division Officer Course Instructor and Combat Systems Billet Specialty Division Head. Commander Farrell was selected as the Calendar Year 2000 Division Officer Course Instructor of the Year.

Cmdr. Farrell served as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer in USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) from Feb. 2003 to Dec. 2005. Bunker Hill served as Air Defense Commander for the Constellation Battle Group and launched 31 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles during initial combat operations of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

From Dec. 2004 to June 2005, USS Bunker Hill deployed as the Sea Combat Commander for USS Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group to the Western Pacific, Arabian Gulf and Horn of Africa in support of Operations Unified Assistance, providing Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief following the tragic Indonesian tsunami of 2004, as well as Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, earning three Battle Efficiency Awards.

From Jan. 2006 to Dec. 2008, Cmdr. Farrell served in the Pentagon on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff, Surface Warfare Directorate, as the DDG 1000 Section Head. He reported to USS Cole in Dec. 2011 to serve as Executive Officer, deploying to the Mediterranean Sea in support of Operations Atlantic Sentry and Sharp Sentry. He assumed command of Cole in July 2013.

Cmdr. Farrell’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy Achievement Medal and various other service medals and ribbons. He earned Program Management Level III Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Certification. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Engineering Management Degree from Duke University.

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