In a not so common occurrence, members of the Submarine Force Headquarters were privileged to witness the promotion of a United States Navy Officer.
Lieutenant Commander Rick Salazar, US Navy, who is currently posted to the Submarine Force Headquarters as Staff Officer Grade One Operations, was promoted to the rank of Commander before members of the Royal Australian Navy and US Navy Submarine Community. Commander Submarine Force, Captain Matt Buckley conducted the promotion at the headquarters located at HMAS Stirling, Rockingham, Western Australia.
In attendance was Commander Salazar’s wife Brenda, who, along with one of his work colleagues Mr Henry Pearce, Staff Office 1 Tactics and Doctrine, updated Commander Salazar’s rank insignia at the event, which is referred to by the US Navy as a “pinning” ceremony.
Commander Salazar enlisted into the US Navy in 1988 as a sailor, and progressed through the ranks to Chief Petty Officer. He attained his Electrical Engineering Degree and Master’s Degree at the University of Florida in 1999 and 2004 respectively and was then commissioned as a Naval Officer. He continued his career as a Submarine Officer. He has served on five US submarines throughout his career.
Captain Buckley enjoyed the experience commenting on the infrequency of this type of activity.
“The privilege of promoting someone and acknowledging their performance in this manner is always a pleasing moment for me," said Captain Buckley.
"Promoting an officer on behalf of another nation heightens the overall experience, ” he said .
Commander Salazar is part of the Personnel Exchange Program involving four US Navy officers and five US Navy enlisted personnel posted to Australia's Submarine Force.