Naval Magazine Indian Island to conduct change of command ceremony

Cmdr. Nicholas Vande Griend

INDIAN ISLAND — Cmdr. Nick Vande Griend, commanding officer of Naval Magazine Indian Island will turn over command to Cmdr. Rocky Pulley on June 29.

The change of command ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. on the Indian Island ammunition pier.

“The people of NAVMAG have earned their reputation as the ‘Pacesetters of the Navy.’ The level of knowledge and expertise across the board is first rate,” Vande Griend said.

“My family and I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to serve here. The people of Port Hadlock, Port Town-send and Marrowstone Is-land have been very welcoming and supportive.

“The Port Townsend schools have been the best and most inclusive we’ve ever seen.”

Following the ceremony, Vande Griend will retire after 30 years of naval service.

During Vande Griend’s leadership, Naval Magazine Indian Island earned a fifth consecutive Platinum level Secretary of the Navy Energy and Water Management Award and passed an extensive explosive safety inspection in 2016, the Navy said, adding that the installation’s security department was rated in the top five for Naval Installations worldwide.

“Our success is driven by the daily pride and professionalism of the dedicated employees who give an unsurpassed performance in everything they do,” said Vande Griend.

Vande Griend gave high praise to his executive director at Indian Island.

“Dave Bernard is the administrative and operational backbone of Indian Island,” Vande Griend said. “He is a true professional who never loses sight of our mission and it was a distinct honor to serve with him.”

Vande Griend and his family plan to stay in Washington state after his retirement.

“We’ve spent 14 years in the Puget Sound area, the boys grew up here and we love it,” he said. “Washington is our home.”

Pulley, a native of Boise, Idaho, enlisted in the Navy in 1986 as an aviation ordnanceman. In 2000, he received his commission as a limited duty officer.

Pulley is married to the former Bobbie Lea Stahlman, a retired Navy senior chief petty officer. Their son, Austin, is studying diesel engineering at Montana State University.

“I’m honored to continue the herculean efforts of Commander Vande Griend at Indian Island,” Pulley said.

“I’ve heard nothing but great things about the hard work the NAVMAG Team accomplishes each and every day. They are proven champions and their ‘can do’ work ethic is second to none. My family and I can’t wait to become a part of the community surrounding Indian Island.”