- Associated Press - Monday, June 12, 2017

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - During his last few moments as officer in charge of U.S. Coast Guard Station Marquette, Senior Chief Patrick Brown applauded his crew, reflected on his time in the area and offered up some advice to his successor.

“Be ready for change, and take it with a positive attitude,” was Brown’s last order to his crew, as he handed over the reins to Chief Mark B. Reilly during a special Change of Command ceremony.

“It’s definitely an emotional moment,” said Brown, who served as officer in charge for three years, beginning in 2014. “The community is fantastic . I’m really going to miss the area.”

Reilly, who is a third generation U.S. Coast Guard service member, said he’s looking forward to taking over.

“Everybody up here in the Great Lakes has been so nice,” he told The Mining Journal (https://bit.ly/2ry9HL6 ).

Reilly enlisted in the USCG in 2002, and has served in Alaska, Florida and most recently, Lake Tahoe, California.

This order marks his first experience ever with the Great Lakes.

“I haven’t dealt much with ice, but I’ll draw from my experience in Alaska,” he said.

As far as his leadership style goes, Reilly said he’s an “intrusive leader” and a servant to his crew.

“I like to know what my members are doing,” he said. “I like to be involved in their lives . I’m here for them. My job is to take care of my people.”

High on Reilly’s list of priorities as the new officer in charge is building relationships with local leaders and strengthening partnerships with law enforcement, first responders and other agencies involved in water search, rescue and recovery efforts.

“Without the other local government agencies, a lot of things aren’t possible,” he said. “So that’s definitely one thing I’m focusing on straight out of the gate coming here.”

Present at the ceremony were family, friends and supporters of both Reilly and Brown, as well as representatives from several local agencies and municipalities including the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, Marquette City Police Department, Marquette City Fire Department, Michigan State Police, Marquette County Board and the city of Marquette.

Deputy Sector Commander Carolyn Moberley of USCG Sector Sault Ste. Marie delivered remarks, detailing the history of the station and its lifesaving efforts.

“Station Marquette’s area of responsibility encompasses some of the most beautiful beaches and recreational areas on Lake Superior, where thousands of visitors travel far distances to recreate every year,” she said. “However, with this natural beauty comes operational challenges - kayakers stranded on the cliffs along the shore of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, people trapped in caves near Presque Isle.”

Despite the challenges, Moberely said while under Brown’s command, Station Marquette covered 97 search and rescue cases and saved 36 lives.

Brown will report next to Station Merrimack River in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

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Information from: The Mining Journal, https://www.miningjournal.net

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