Wednesday was a day of endings and new beginnings as Naval Support Activity in Hampden Township held its changing of command ceremony.
Capt. Kyle Bryan replaced Capt. Rudy Geisler as commanding officer of Naval Support Activity in Mechanicsburg, Naval Support Activity in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Naval Annex.
Geisler had assumed command in August 2015.
“You learn something new from every job,” Geisler said. “At this point for me it’s all about leadership, leading people and helping give them the direction and making sure they understand where we’re trying to go. ... People need guidance. We all do, but what I’ve found is give them clear guidance, give them tools that they need, give them the top cover they need ... and let them shine.
“In 28 years, I have not been disappointed in the men and women who have supported me throughout my career,” he said.
Geisler’s next assignment will be as deputy commander, Navy Supply Systems Command, Weapon System Support.
Geisler, a Philadelphia native, is also a 2007 graduate of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, and said he hopes to retire in the area.
The biggest thing he learned from his tenure in Hampden Township is “to be flexible,” he said.
“Running an installation is a 24 hours, seven-day-a-week job,” he said. “... Anything you need to run a city, we do. You never know, any time of day or night, you never know if something may go wrong, but we have fabulous people who are ready to come to call.”
Bryan comes to the Midstate after most recently serving as assistant chief of staff for U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command in Bahrain. He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and holds a master’s degree from the Naval Post Graduate School.
“For me, this is a personal growth experience,” Bryan said. “This is something I’ve not done before. I’m a supply corp officer. I’ve been raised to do logistics well. This is a completely different kind of job, so for me this is a great learning experience.”
Bryan said he was a little nervous to take over command but said he was excited for the opportunity, and added he has “great guys surrounding me that I can lean on.”