The commanding officer sets the tone for the way a ship's crew responds to emergencies, relates to shipmates, and conducts itself ashore and afloat.
Commander Andrew B. Tamayo, U.S. Navy, who commanded the USS Fife (DD-991), was a popular skipper. Like most COs, he demanded attention to detail and precision in accomplishing tasks. He was firm but fair when making disciplinary decisions at Captain's Mast.
But he loved to play, too. His liberal in-port liberty policy was popular with the crew because it gave them extra time with their families and friends; something any forward-deployed sailor could appreciate. The ship frequently held steel-beach picnics under way, and everyone will remember the rare swim call held off the coast of Luzon en route to a port call in Manila. The highlight was watching Commander Tamayo, an avid surfer, being towed behind the ship's rigid-hull inflatable boat on his surfboard. He beamed as he swung around the fantail waving to the crew as they enjoyed their picnic on the flight deck. It was a rare sight on a glorious day that said much about the man and his command philosophy.