CAPT Saybolt Departing

DSO Pacific Holds Change of Command

July 26th, 2023

Defense Service Office (DSO) Pacific held a change of command ceremony on 10 July aboard U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.

Rear Adm. David G. Wilson, Commander of Naval Legal Service Command, presided over the ceremony in which Capt. Matthew J. Sklerov relieved Capt. Gregory W. Saybolt as commanding officer of DSO Pacific. Wilson congratulated Saybolt on an extremely successful tour and commented on the overwhelmingly positive feedback he received from the Sailors of DSO Pacific regarding their commanding officer. Wilson praised Saybolt’s commitment to his team and his ability to meet the demanding requirements of the defense mission while keeping morale high.

During the ceremony, Saybolt thanked his Sailors for a rewarding tour and acknowledged the support his family provided throughout the years.

CAPT Sklerov Remarks

“Many times, we are the only people in our client’s corners. We are truly the last line of defense for these individuals—and whether it’s getting a great outcome, or walking side by side with another human being who is having the worst time of their lives and assisting by explaining the process, we have answered the call. We help people on an individual level not mimicked in many areas of life. In our military society, we all took oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We don’t stop at supporting—we directly defend the Constitutional rights of our Clients—every day. This is a great mission that we all get to contribute towards,” said Saybolt.

Saybolt, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has follow-on orders to serve as Special Counsel for the Chief of Naval Operations. His previous assignments include serving as the Executive Assistant to Commander, Naval Legal Service Command and Deputy Judge Advocate General, as well as the Operational Law Chief and Deputy Force Judge Advocate for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe; Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa; and Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet.

Sklerov recently completed a tour as the Force Judge Advocate for Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado, California. He previously served as the Executive Assistant to Commander, Naval Legal Service Command and Deputy Judge Advocate General, as well as Deputy Force/Fleet Judge Advocate for U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/ U.S. 6th Fleet.

Wilson commented that Sklerov comes to the command with a strong history of distinguished service and brings a wealth of experience. He also remarked that this is the fourth consecutive time Sklerov has relieved Saybolt, ensuring a seamless transition in command. Admiral Wilson joked that Sklerov will also have follow-on orders as Special Counsel to the Chief of Naval Operations at the conclusion of this tour in keeping with the tradition of turning over with Saybolt.

“I’m both excited and humbled to return to forward deployed naval forces’ service - this time in Japan. Excited because nothing matches the adventure of overseas service. And humbled, because overseas service presents unique challenges that do not exist at home - especially to those called to serve away from their loved ones - that is why, I recognize it is my solemn charge to support you - DSO Pacific - so that you can continue to do the extraordinary things you do to win for our Nation by perfecting our Constitution through the defense of others,” said Sklerov.

CAPT Saybolt EOT

Sklerov continued, “Serving in the JAG Corps is a privilege. A privilege born of the strong sense of purpose and camaraderie that comes from serving a higher cause with other like-minded individuals. However, it is also a privilege marked by humility and stewardship. A humility sharpened in self-sacrifice and a recognition that we are imperfect and just trying our best. A stewardship in that we, as legal professionals, must ensure accountability and faithful service to our Constitution, whether working for the government, defense, victims, or families, so that we uphold the ideals that truly make America the greatest country in the world.”

Sklerov, a native of upstate New York, was commissioned in 2001 through the JAG Corps Student Program.  He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Texas, a Master of Laws in national security law from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's School, and a Master of Arts in national security and strategic planning from the Naval War College. He is also a Joint and Combined Warfighting School graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College. Sklerov is admitted to practice before the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

DSO Pacific provides defense and personal representation legal services to the Pacific Fleet and Forward Deployed Naval Force personnel throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Northern Arabian Sea from office locations in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan; Santa Rita, Guam; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.