News: 1st Marines welcomes home new leader
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Colonel David Furness relinquished command of 1st Marine Regiment to Col. Peter Baumgarten during a change-of-command ceremony at Camp Horno, June 8.
“The tip of the spear in my mind is always a Marine, but behind that Marine is a commanding officer, who is always planning and preparing that unit to take on the nation’s business, regardless of the challenge or task,” said Maj. Gen. Ronald Bailey, the commanding general of 1st Marine Division. “Today I have the honor of taking a few minutes to recognize a commanding officer who distinguished himself in both peace and in combat.”
Furness assumed command of the regiment in June 2010, just months before he led them forward to Helmand province, Afghanistan for a yearlong deployment as Regimental Combat Team 1.
“Two years ago, when I took command I promised three things: I told the Marines that we were going to be the most lethal and ready combat regiment in the Marine Corps, that we were going to take care of each other and that we were going to have fun,” said Furness, a 1987 graduate of Virginia Military Institute. “I think I delivered on all three.
“It’s been an honor to be here. I have never been surrounded by a better group of Marines in my life,” said Furness. “These guys, they will do whatever you ask them to do and then some.”
“For 10 years, this nation has been at war,” said Bailey. “It’s been a regimental commander’s war because the regimental commanders are on the ground doing everything that is required in terms of turning the tide for this nation as we move forward.”
Furness will transfer to Quantico, Va., to begin his next assignment as the director of Expeditionary Warfare School.
Prior to reporting to 1st Marine Regiment, Baumgarten was assigned to U.S. Northern Command where he served as liaison Officer to U.S. Southern Command in Miami as a standing deputy joint task force commander in support of domestic contingency response within the United States, but he is no stranger to 1st Marines, known as “Inchon.”
“I am honored and privileged to stand here today to have the opportunity to command this storied regiment,” said Baumgarten, as he assumed command. “It is absolutely a dream come true for me and an opportunity unparalleled in my career and in my life.”
Commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1988, Baumgarten’s first assignment was a platoon commander with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. There he deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm with Battalion Landing Team 3/1.
In 1992, he served as the operations officer and a branch head at the Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Pacific before returning to 1st Marines in 1996. With 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, Baumgarten served as the company commander for Company B until he reported to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
Since then he has served the Corps throughout the world holding various billets with Headquarters Marine Corps; 3rd Marine Division; Multi-National Corps Iraq; 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines; 2nd Marine Division and attending the National War College in Washington, D.C.
The ceremony included a performance from the 1st Marine Division Band, the troops’ manual of arms, pass and review and re¬marks by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division and the outgoing and incoming commanding officers.
“Especially when officers come into command, we want be heroes and we want to come into a unit, see problems and fix them,” explained Baumgarten, a 1988 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. “Dave Furness robbed me of that opportunity.
“Over the course of my week of turnover, I saw all the things I was looking for and hoping for were already in place,” said Baumgarten. “I’m honored to pick up where Dave has taken the 1st Marine Regiment and take that opportunity to move them forward and prepare them for combat and contingency.”
Baumgarten’s personal decorations include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Gold Stars, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one Gold Star and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Date Posted:06.08.2012 20:41
Location:MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
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