By BILL SWANSON
NAS Patuxent River Public Affairs
Capt. David S. Wade became the new commanding officer of the Naval Medical Clinic Patuxent River from Capt. Christopher W. Zukowski during a change-of-command ceremony Sept. 10.
The ceremony was also something of a Naval Academy class reunion. The keynote speaker was Capt. Dane Swanson, formerly NAS Patuxent River commanding officer and now vice commander of NAWCAD. Swanson noted that he and Wade are both Naval Academy Class of 1977 graduates, as is Swanson's successor, Capt. Zachary Henry, who was also in attendance.
As part of the ceremony, Swanson presented to Zukowski the Legion of Merit "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service" during Zukowski's two-year tour as head of the clinic. Zukowski is transferring to the Naval Medical Clinic Annapolis, where he will return to medical practice as a sports medicine physician for the Naval Academy. The award was presented on behalf of NAVAIR Commander Vice Adm. Wally Massenburg, acting on behalf of President Bush.
Wade is a native of Clarkston, Wash. He graduated with distinction from the academy with a major in biosciences and earned his medical degree at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences in 1981. Wade is a Hayward Award-winning graduate of the Naval War College and holds an appointment as an associate professor of clinical surgery at USUHS. He is board-certified in surgery, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American College of Physician Executives.
Wade's previous assignments include a tour as chief of the Clinical Staff at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, from 1997 to 1999, when he was promoted to deputy commander. In June 2000, he transferred to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery as the deputy assistant chief for education, training and personnel. Wade assumed command of the Naval School of Health Sciences, Bethesda, in May 2001, serving in that position until August 2002. Most recently he was assigned as fleet surgeon, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, from October 2002 until his arrival at NAS Patuxent River.
Wade's awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and Southwest Asia Campaign Medals. Additionally, he has been designated a surface warfare medical officer and completed a submarine Fleet Ballistic Missile Deterrent Patrol.