Capt. Mark C. Hazenberg, oncoming commanding officer of Officer Training Command Newport (OTCN), speaks during the change of command ceremony, July 10. Headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island, OTCN develops civilians and fleet Sailors into newly commissioned officers morally, mentally, physically and imbue them with the highest ideals of honor, courage and commitment in order to prepare graduates for service in the fleet as Naval officers. (U.S. Navy illustration by Ensign Victoria Piccoli)

Story by Darwin Lam, Naval Service Training Command. This story originally appeared here.

Newport, RI – A change of command ceremony was held for Officer Training Command Newport (OTCN) at Kay Hall in Newport, Rhode Island, July 10.

Capt. Mark C. Hazenberg relieved Capt. Mark A. Nicholson as commanding officer of OTCN.

Under Nicholson’s leadership, OTCN trained more than 7,000 students. He directed the overhaul and expansion of the Officer Candidate School program and the disestablishment of the Direct Commission Officer Indoctrination Course resulting in better training for reserve officers alongside their active duty counterparts.

“Seeing the excitement on the young officers’ faces as they head out the door to start their careers as leaders in our Navy team…these young men and women are hungry to learn and serve. It is their excitement that energized me each and every day,” Nicholson said.

For future students aspiring to become naval officers, Nicholson advised them to “…focus on building trust with your Sailors; trust is the currency of leadership. And remember, you are going to make mistakes. However, it is what you do with those mistakes that will determine if you are a successful leader with character. Own up to them and right your wrongs.”

Nicholson was awarded the Legion of Merit for his contribution and accomplishments during his tour of duty from May 2018 to July 2020.

Hazenberg arrived to OTCN after serving as the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Officer for U.S. Fleet Forces Command. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering and earned his commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program.

“It’s a great honor and I am excited to take command of an organization that commissions two-thirds of incoming officers to the fleet,” said Hazenberg. “I consider it a privilege to be a part of this team.”

Hazenberg’s previous assignments include commanding officer of Undersea Rescue Command (URC); command center watch officer and CTF-134 scheduling and operations officer at Commander, Submarine Forces Pacific; an analyst in the Secretary of the Navy’s Office of Program Assessment; and an action officer in both the Joint Staff J5 Trans-Regional Policy office and in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations staff. During his shore assignments he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Hawaii.

Nicholson will remain in Newport and will attend the Joint Professional Military Education Level II and the Stockdale Leader Development Concentration course at the Naval War College.

OTCN is overseen by the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), headquartered at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill. NSTC manages all initial Navy officer and enlisted accessions training except for the U.S. Naval Academy.

OTCN conducts four officer accession training schools and is located at Naval Station Newport. The four schools consist of Officer Candidate School (OCS); Officer Development School (ODS); the Limited Duty Officer and Chief Warrant Officer (LDO/CWO) Academy and the Naval Science Institute – Seaman to Admiral 21 (STA-21) Program. The officers on staff, Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs) and U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructors (DIs) also provide training assistance for these schools, especially with the academic and physical training of the candidates and students.

The mission of OTCN is to develop civilians and fleet Sailors morally, mentally, and physically into newly commissioned officers, imbuing them with the highest ideals of honor, courage, and commitment in order to prepare graduates for service in the fleet as Naval officers.

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