The Coast Guard barque Eagle will have a new face at the helm following a ceremony today transferring command of the ship.
Capt. Raymond “Wes” Pulver, whose most recent assignment was Coast Guard Congressional and Government Affairs chief, will be the new commander of the 295-foot tall ship. Pulver relieves Capt. Eric C. Jones, who has been the top officer on board the ship since June of 2009. Jones will now serve as the assistant superintendent of the .
Both Jones and Pulver said they had been impressed with the development they have seen in officer candidates from the Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Jones said those who sail on the Eagle must learn to trust one another and cooperate against hazards such as high seas and ice floes. He also praised the work of the ship’s crew for keeping the vessel maintained and training candidates.
“You might be tempted to get romantic about the Eagle and everything that she does, but honestly that would be a mistake,” said Jones. “Eagle challenges everyone who serves in her in so many ways, and it is to those challenges that everyone who sails in Eagle grows.”
Pulver recalled his recent experience sailing on the ship.
“I saw in the eyes of the trainees that same indecision I once had,” he said. “They were unclear, unclear of what their Coast Guard career will offer them. And I watched as this entire crew provided that same leadership, guidance, and mentoring, from the youngest non-rated on board to the most seasoned chief, and from the newest ensign to Eagle 26 [Jones]. And I’m excited to have the opportunity to do the same.”
Vice Admiral Robert C. Parker, commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area and Defense Force East, said this is the 26th change of command aboard the Eagle since the ship was taken as a prize of war from Germany in 1946. He said the vessel has sailed 25,000 nautical miles and trained 2,000 Coast Guard and NOAA officers under Jones’ command.
“You’ve truly unleashed the potential and performance of this terrific crew,” Parker told Jones.
Jones and Pulver both graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1987. Jones, a native of Half Moon Bay, Calif., served aboard four additional Coast Guard ships. He has also held several roles in Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and served as a mathematics and leadership instructor at the academy.
Pulver, who grew up in East Greenwich, R.I., formerly served as the executive officer of the Eagle. His service also includes positions in the Fifth Coast Guard District, Coast Guard Headquarters, and Coast Guard Academy.