By Don Rochon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson presides over a change of command ceremony for Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and Chief of Civil Engineers. Rear Adm. Kate Gregory was relieved by Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, and Gregory retired after 33 years of service. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Laird/151104-N-AT895-727)
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) held a change of command and retirement ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, Nov. 4.
Rear Adm. Bret J. Muilenburg relieved Rear Adm. Kate L. Gregory, and became the 44th commander of NAVFAC and Chief of Civil Engineers. Before the ceremony, Muilenburg was promoted to rear admiral (upper half) by Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John M. Richardson.
In his remarks, Richardson thanked Gregory for her service to the Navy and the nation. He presented her with the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptional meritorious service while serving as NAVFAC commander.
Gregory reflected on her time at NAVFAC.
"I cannot be more proud of how the NAVFAC workforce executed our mission of building and maintaining sustainable facilities, delivering utilities and facility services, and providing world-class expeditionary capabilities for our naval forces," she said. "These extraordinary efforts enabled the operational success of our Navy and Marine Corps commanders."
Gregory also spoke fondly of her service with the Seabees.
"I will also very much miss my time serving with the Naval Construction Force," she added. "Seabees work with just an incredible sense of esprit de corps and pride, and what an incredible privilege it was to have been part of this community."
Rear Adm. Kate Gregory congratulates new NAVFAC Commander Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg during the change of command and retirement ceremony held at the Washington Navy Yard, Nov. 4, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Fred Gross, NAVFAC)
A 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Gregory retires after serving 33 years in the Navy. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Southern California and George Washington University, and has completed the Senior Executive Program at the London School of Business.
Gregory assumed command of NAVFAC in October 2012. Previously she served as commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific and Pacific Fleet civil engineer. Her other facilities assignments included tours in Yokosuka, Japan; Naples, Italy; San Francisco, California; Adak, Alaska; and Pearl Harbor. She also had staff tours in Washington, D.C., serving as the Seabee action officer and overseas bases planning and action officer for CNO.
Her tours with the Naval Construction Force included Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, commanding officer of NMCB 133, commander of the 30th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR), and chief of staff for the First Naval Construction Division.
She is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a qualified military parachutist, and a Seabee combat warfare officer.
Muilenburg comes to NAVFAC headquarters from NAVFAC Pacific, where he served as commander and Pacific Fleet civil engineer from May 2013.
He was commissioned a Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officer after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1984. His extensive educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Engineering Management from George Washington University, and Master of Science in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University. In addition, Muilenburg completed the Executive Education Advanced Program at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
"I am humbled at this opportunity to serve as the commander of NAVFAC and chief of Civil Engineers," Muilenburg said. "The civil service employees and Civil Engineer Corps officers who work at NAVFAC are professionals known globally for their 'can do' spirit. I look forward to working side-by-side with this incredible group of people and can't wait to get started."
He is a qualified Seabee combat warfare officer. His operational tours of duty include assignments with NMCBs 62, 133 and 7, along with the 30th NCR. He also served as Task Force Forager commander and theater engineer for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command in Afghanistan.
Muilenburg is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, and a Seabee combat warfare officer.
NAVFAC builds and maintains sustainable facilities, delivers utilities and services, enables energy security and environmental stewardship, and provides humanitarian assistance, contingency engineering response, and expeditionary combat force capabilities. Established in 1842 as the Bureau of Yards and Docks, NAVFAC enables Navy and Marine Corps readiness through 14 commands in the United States, Europe, Southwest Asia and the Far East.
For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/navfachq/
Seabee Force Master Chief Christopher Levesque presents Rear Adm. Kate Gregory with her flag during the change of command and retirement ceremony held at the Washington Navy Yard, Nov. 4, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Laird/151104-N-AT895-700)