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VFA-37 Conducts Change of Command

14 October 2021

From U.S. Navy story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bonnie Lindsay

During the same week the Navy celebrates its 246th birthday, the “Ragin’ Bulls” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37 held a change of command ceremony to mark a transition of leadership, Oct. 14.
During the same week the Navy celebrates its 246th birthday, the “Ragin’ Bulls” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37 held a change of command ceremony to mark a transition of leadership, Oct. 14.

Cmdr. Patrick B. Bookey, a native of Edmonds, Washington, assumed all duties and responsibilities as the VFA-37 commanding officer from Cmdr. Jason S. Tarrant, a native of Valdosta, Georgia, during the change of command event.

“It’s bittersweet. What we do in the military is we stay in some place for two, three, four years and then we form bonds and we have shared experiences,” said Tarrant. “The things that we go through, the people we get to know, all those things. You really form a second family, and it makes it tough when you have to leave knowing that, yes, you want to hopefully see those folks later on in the fleet, but you may not ever see those folks again. You’ll always have those memories and those shared experiences. That’s what I will cherish walking away from this tour.” 

Bookey reported to VFA-37 in April 2020, as the executive officer before taking command of the squadron in October 2021. He discussed his intentions with assuming command of VFA-37 with a speech given during the ceremony. 

“We have some important stuff coming in front of us,” said Bookey. “I think that’s the piece that I’m looking forward to most: bringing the Bulls back into the forefront of naval aviation, getting out there and doing the job.”

Both pilots read their orders formally transferring command, followed by the conclusion of the ceremony.

The Ragin’ Bulls are a three-time Commander, Naval Air Forces Battle “E” and Michael J. Estocin award winning squadron for superior performance during their 2013-2014 deployment. Their mission is to launch combat-ready aircraft, 24/7, anywhere in the world.

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