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NEWS | Aug. 13, 2021

Navy Talent Acquisition Group San Antonio welcomes new commander

By Burrell Parmer Navy Talent Acquisition Group San Antonio Public Affairs

A new commanding officer took command of Navy Talent Acquisition Group San Antonio during a change of command and retirement ceremony held at the Frank Fickett Scout Training and Service Center Aug. 11.

During the ceremony, Cmdr. Michael Files, of Austin, Texas, relinquished command to Cmdr. Stephanie Simoni, of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania.

Commanding the NTAG SA since Nov. 12, 2020, Files was responsible for more than 220 recruiters and support personnel who assisted in making the Navy’s recruitment annual mission. 

His area of responsibility included two Talent Acquisition Onboarding Centers and 34 Navy Recruiting Stations/Navy Officer Recruiting Stations spread throughout 144,000 square miles of Texas territory, spanning from Waco, west to Midland/Odessa, southwest towards El Paso, southeast along the Rio Grande Valley, and west of College Station.

Capt. Anthony Bayungan, commodore, Region West, Navy Recruiting Command, officiated the ceremony.

“This is one of the most rewarding experiences in Cmdr. Files’ life,” Bayungan said.  “Many officers go through their entire career never taking command. It takes a very special kind of person to step up and shoulder that responsibility. This shows character, dedication and sacrifice, and Cmdr. Files has done this twice.”

Remarking on his tenure as commanding officer and his career, Files thanked those who have guided him.

“It is fitting that this ceremony is occurring at the Frank Fickett Center,” said Files, who was awarded the National Eagle Scout Association’s Outstanding Eagle Scout Award.  “Without a doubt, I know that my involvement with scouts fortified my foundation.”

Under Files’ command, the NTAG shipped 2,968 men and women for service in America’s Navy and Navy Reserve from more than 1,100 high schools and universities throughout Central and South Texas.  For his superior performance of duty, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Bayungan.

Simoni, a surface warfare officer, thanked all for attending the ceremony and for Files’ service.

“I would like to thank all the planners and participants for all their hard work in putting this ceremony together,” said Simoni, who previously served as NTAG San Antonio’s executive officer. “I am absolutely humbled to serve as your commanding officer and honored to lead this great team of men and women.”

Additionally, she thanked Bayungan for the training and mentorship that he provided her and her team during his visit to NTAG San Antonio, and for the trust and confidence that he placed in her to lead the officers, chief petty officers, Sailors, and civilians under her command.

Following the change of command ceremony, Files retired from America’s Navy with 24 years of faithful and honorable service.

Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 26 NTAGs and 64 Talent Acquisition Onboarding Centers that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations around the world. Their mission is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.