The shoulder boards, brass buttons, medals, and ribbons came out of the wooden case one after the other. The commander placed each item in its correct location almost without thought, rigging his uniform with a mechanical speed born of long experience. He paused when he withdrew the little cardboard box holding a Command at Sea pin. The pin had been purchased at the exchange two years ago, a gift to himself when he had screened for command. Opening the box for the first time, he attached the pin to the right side of the uniform blouse, the last item to go on for tomorrow's change of command ceremony. Pausing for a moment, he wondered how well he would handle the weight of command.
By Commanding Officers of Destroyer Squadron 23