News: New commander takes charge of ‘The Professionals’
Story by Sgt. Jacob Harrer
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment received a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony here, Feb. 14.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew T. Priddy relinquished command to Lt. Col. Coby M. Moran, who previously served as the 1st Marines executive officer.
Priddy is now assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division, where he will serve in the operations section before reporting to the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.
Priddy, a native of Channahon, Ill., led the battalion since July 2011 after serving as a Marine Air Ground Task Force planner with U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla. While in command of 2nd Bn., 1st Marines, Priddy deployed to Korea in support of Exercise SSang Yong and commanded the battalion as the landing team with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
As commander, Priddy was able to travel with his Marines to historic places in Marines Corps history, including Guam, Tinian and Peleliu. He said the highlight of his tour was the opportunity to train with Filipino Marines as part of the deployment with the 31st MEU.
“It was a great opportunity that we had to work closely with a nation that we have such a rich tradition and history with in the Philippine Marine Corps, and it was a great opportunity to integrate those courses and conduct a bilateral exercise with them,” Priddy said.
Priddy handed command over to Moran, a friend of 15 years. They attended Expeditionary Warfare School together, and Priddy said he feels confident in Moran’s ability to lead the Marines.
“He’s a professional and will embody what it means to be part of this battalion,” Priddy said, referring to the nickname of 2nd Bn., 1st Marines, “The Professionals.”
Moran, a native of Renton, Wash., said he is excited and humbled to take command, and he hopes to foster teamwork and balance among the Marines in the battalion.
“I’m a big believer in the ‘whole Marines’ concept and providing balance to your life … sometimes we get so busy with deployment schedules, et cetera, that we focus on a few elements and forget about the others,” Moran said. “Family, career, and spirituality (are) the other things that add strength to your life. That’s what I think all Marines should have.”
The ability to balance life helps Marines deal with the many responsibilities and demands of their jobs, Moran added.
The battalion is currently slated to deploy as the battalion landing team with the 11th MEU, and Moran is excited to lead them as they go to sea.
“My focus is to capture and leverage all that amphibious expertise that exists in this battalion. I think that should set us up very well for that 11th MEU deployment as we get ready for it and continue our training pipeline to deploy,” Moran said.