USA — Face of Defense: Third-Generation Officer Takes Oath

KABUL, Afghanistan — One of the Navy’s newest offi­cers joined the ranks in a unique way July 9 when he received his com­mis­sion­ing oath via video tele­con­fer­ence from his uncle, a Navy vice admi­ral who com­mands a joint task force in Afghanistan.

Joint Task Force 435 commander
Navy Vice Adm. Robert S. Har­ward, Joint Task Force 435 com­man­der, admin­is­ters the oath of com­mis­sion­ing to his nephew, Navy Ensign Ian Kriegish, via video tele­con­fer­ence in Kab­ul, Afghanistan, July 9, 2010. Kriegish is a third-gen­er­a­tion sailor in the fam­i­ly to serve as an offi­cer.
U.S. Air Force pho­to by Senior Air­man William A. O’Brien
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The com­mis­sion­ing of Ensign Ian Kriegish by Vice Adm. Robert S. Har­ward, Joint Task Force 435 com­man­der, marked the begin­ning of the third gen­er­a­tion of his fam­i­ly to serve as an offi­cer in the Navy.

“We are all very proud of you — proud of you for what you’re doing,” Har­ward told his nephew. “You’re tak­ing on this oblig­a­tion when we’re at war, and you’ll serve while we’re at war. There’s no greater pur­pose that you could have in life, so go out and serve the fleet well.”

Har­ward intro­duced Kriegish to the Navy. As a recent hon­ors grad­u­ate from North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty in Evanston, Ill., Kriegish was unde­cid­ed about his future. But a vis­it to his uncle’s home in Nor­folk, Va., changed that.

“When he was vis­it­ing me in Nor­folk, he did­n’t know what he want­ed to do,” Har­ward said. “I live near the [air­craft] car­ri­er, so we just walked over and walked on some of the ships. We talked to some young kids who were just junior offi­cers. He decid­ed that join­ing seemed inter­est­ing, so he applied.”

After find­ing out that he had aced the entry test and had been accept­ed to become an intel­li­gence offi­cer, Kriegish began Offi­cer Can­di­date School.

“When he applied, he want­ed intel, so he was excit­ed to be accept­ed by them and to have that be what he’s going to do for the next few years,” Har­ward said.

After receiv­ing his com­mis­sion, Kriegish was con­grat­u­lat­ed by his attend­ing fam­i­ly and his video-tele­con­fer­enc­ing uncle. “Con­grat­u­la­tions, Ensign Kriegish,” the admi­ral said. “I just wish I could be there to be your first salute.”

After a small talk with the fam­i­ly, Har­ward offered a part­ing, “Go get ‘em, Ensign Kriegish,” as he sent his nephew to join the fleet.

Joint Task Force 435 assumed respon­si­bil­i­ty for U.S. deten­tion oper­a­tions — includ­ing the care and cus­tody of detainees at the deten­tion facil­i­ty in Par­wan — over­sight of detainee review process­es, pro­grams for the peace­ful rein­te­gra­tion of detainees into soci­ety, and coor­di­na­tion with oth­er agen­cies and part­ners for the pro­mo­tion of the rule of law in Afghanistan.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)