CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (SGT Donovan Lee) – Col. Andrew Milburn relinquished command of Marine Raider Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, to Col. Peter Huntley during a change of command ceremony at the MARSOC headquarters at Stone Bay, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 26, 2015.
Marines, sailors, family and friends were in attendance to witness the change of command. A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility of a unit from the outgoing commanding officer to the incoming officer. The passing of the colors signifies the official change of duties being placed into the hands of the next commanding officer.
Prior to the ceremony Col. Milburn had the opportunity to reflect on his time as the Marine Raider Regiment commander.
“When they say special operations, they aren’t kidding. These Marines can do things across the spectrum of operations and training, that very few other people can,” said Milburn. “They challenge themselves every day; and it compels you as a leader to do the same. I feel very privileged to have been part of such an extraordinary unit, during a very formative period of the unit’s history.”
The Raider Regiment consists of a headquarters company and three Marine Raider Battalions (1st, 2d, 3d). The Regiment’s mission is to train, sustain, maintain combat readiness, and deploy task-organized and scalable expeditionary Marine Special Operation Forces worldwide to accomplish the full range of special operations missions assigned to MARSOC.
Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman Commander MARSOC, spoke briefly during the ceremony about Milburn and his time as a commander.
“Through his leadership (the regiment) was able to regionalize around the world,” said Osterman. “He has been faced with some difficult tasks (including) the loss of seven of his Marines. He was personally involved with each and every one of those families ensuring they had everything they needed.”
Under Milburn’s command the regiment completed its mission in Afghanistan, and regionally aligned to support Special Operations Command (SOC) Pacific, SOC Central and SOC Africa, providing persistently deployed Marines Special Operations Companies, to their respective Theater Special Operations Command. The regiment also had oversight as the last Marine Special Operations Company deployed and successfully turned in 13 years’ worth of equipment and transitioned facilities back to Afghan control, as well as developed and implemented streamlined training practices to gain efficiencies across the entirety of the MRR.
“I had the opportunity to personally witness and observe Huntley in combat and his strong leadership and his ability to make hard things happen,” said Osterman.
In closing, Huntley spoke briefly about the opportunity to lead the regiment.
“I am proud and honored to lead, what I consider to be one of the finest Marine Corps regiments in the Corps,” said Huntley.