LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It was a tearful farewell as Commander Buddy Reams transferred his authority as commander of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit of Lake Charles to Lieutenant Commander Robert Compher.
Reams says, "I'm kind of emotional about it. I have mixed feelings. I'm happy to be moving to where we're moving to, but on the same token for the first time ever in my career having to transfer, I really have mixed feelings about having to leave an area."
Commander Compher, a Fort Worth, Texas native, comes to the Lake Area from the Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. He's excited about his new position and his new home.
Compher says, "I'm just excited to be here right now. I've always wanted to be in command. The people of Lake Charles have really welcomed me and my family and we're just very happy to be here."
Over the past several months, a lot of changes have occurred with the Coast Guard. A few more will come under Commander Compher's leadership, including the re-creation of a small boat station in Lake Charles and the addition of more people by the end of the summer.
Lt. Commander Compher says, "I know we do have some changes coming up. The station is expanding. We're getting a few more people. I also want to make it a seamless transition for the local community."
Outgoing Commander Reams believes Compher will do a great job leading the unit of 107 people. He offers Compher this piece of advice: "Trust your crew. Listen to them."
Words Reams already knows Lieutenant Commander Robert Compher already lives by.
Commander Buddy Reams has been the commanding officer of the Lake Charles unit since 2006. He's heading to Miami where he's accepted an assignment as the Commanding Officer of the Cruise Ship Center of Expertise.