The Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command got its seventh commanding officer on Aug. 1 during a change of command ceremony. Capt. Julia Slattery assumed the position of commander, Task Force 1020 and commanding officer, Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, from Capt. Sean Heritage as he moves on to a position with the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, located in Silicon Valley, Calif.

Rear Adm. Timothy White, commander of Cyber National Mission Force at U.S. Cyber Command, served as guest speaker and presiding officer over the ceremony, where he presented Heritage with the Legion of Merit Award. He declared Heritage to be a “pathfinder, groundbreaker in every way … always challenging himself and those he’s a teammate of to do better,” according to a Navy press release.

Heritage began his acceptance speech by surprising Rob Boshonek, strategic and technical director at Commander Task Group 1020.1, with the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award before continuing.

“The theme for this chapter has been that of creativity, critical thinking, and collective ownership ... It is all about outcomes. It is the process that generates the outcomes. It is the environment that informs the processes. And it is the people who shape the environment,” Heritage said. “My role here was not to generate outcomes, nor was it to dictate processes. My role was to attract talent, inspire teammates, and foster a culture where even our most junior teammates were the ones generating those outcomes.”

Slattery graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993 as a cryptologic surface warfare officer. Since then she has served on various Naval mission, both at sea and on land including as a plankowner on the amphibious assault ship Bataan and as commander of Navy Information Operations Command, Bahrain. Most recently, Slattery served on the Joint Staff as division chief of the Cyber Policy Division in the J5 Global Policy and Partnerships Directorate.

“I wish to clearly articulate that there is no other command I wish to lead, no other place I wish to be than right here today in front of this team,” Slattery said. “And when I stand before this much talent, a command and Task Force of such intensity I can’t help but get excited about our future together.”