MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Major Gen. Ronald L. Bailey relinquished command of 1st Marine Division to Maj. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson during a change of command ceremony here, June 10.
As the Marines and sailors of the division gathered to welcome the new commanding general, all of the units in 1st Marine Division marched on the parade field to bid farewell to Maj. Gen. Bailey.
Major Gen. Nicholson, a native of Toronto, Canada, began his service after graduating from the Citadel in Charleston, S.C. From 1980 to 1982, he served as a platoon and company commander in 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment.
He then completed Amphibious Warfare School and served as a platoon commander at Officers Candidate School until joining 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment as a platoon commander in the fall of 1986. He later served as a company commander for Lima Co. 3rd Bn. 7th Marines.
Major General Nicholson has held an array of assignments in his career, including the deputy commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade of Task Force Leatherneck and the senior military assistant to a deputy secretary of defense in Washington, D.C.
As the ceremony concluded the Marines of 1st Marine Division saluted the new commanding general and bid farewell to Maj. Gen. Bailey.
"I'm looking forward to working alongside of the Marines and sailors of 1st Marine Division," Nicholson said. "We will be prepared to deploy at a moment's notice to complete whatever mission we may be tasked with."
Major General Bailey, a native of St. Augustine, Fla., assumed command of 1st Marine Division in June 2011 and under his command, 1st Marine Division deployed to Afghanistan where they aided local nationals and conducted counterinsurgency operations.
"It has been a great honor to lead the Marines and sailors of 1st Marine Division," Bailey said. "I am excited that (Maj.) General Nicholson is taking command of the division because I know he will hold the Marines to a high standard and increase the great legacy of the division."