News: VMA-223 bids Sauerland farewell, welcomes McDuffie
Story by Pfc. Victor A. Arriaga
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Marine Attack Squadron 223 “Bulldogs” will welcome a new commanding officer at 2 p.m. during a change of command ceremony today at the squadron’s hangar.
Lt. Col. Roger T. McDuffie will accept the squadron reins from Lt. Col. William Sauerland.
“It is an incredible honor to be chosen as the new commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron 223,” said McDuffie. “I believe them to be the finest and most professional Marines I have had the pleasure of working with.”
McDuffie joined the Bulldogs in May of this year as the executive officer and says he looks forward to watching the squadron grow.
“I look forward to our upcoming deployments as we push forward once again to do what all of us joined the Marine Corps to do – serve our country and contribute to the national defense of our great nation while being forward deployed,” said McDuffie.
Sauerland says that McDuffie is more than qualified to take on the role of commanding officer for the squadron.
“Lt. Col. McDuffie is extremely well prepared to be the commanding officer of VMA-223,” said Sauerland. “If I could offer any advice, it would be to continue to be yourself and to enjoy every second of command, as it goes entirely too fast.”
Sauerland has been with VMA-223 since July 2011 and says his time with the squadron has been one of the most memorable in his Marine Corps career. He will move on to become the executive officer of Marine Aircraft Group 14.
“The highlight of my time as the commander for VMA-223 has been watching every Marine grow within their (military occupational specialty) while executing operations safely,” said Sauerland. “The squadron surpassing 80,000 mishap-free flight hours is a testament to the dedication, sacrifice and professionalism of every Marine in the VMA-223 family. It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have served with the fine Marines of this squadron.”
As McDuffie steps up to the plate, he says that he will strive to capitalize on Sauerland’s successes.
“Lt. Col. Sauerland has done an excellent job of maximizing squadron training in preparation for our upcoming deployments and making senior pilot qualifications in what I consider the most tactical squadron in the Marine Corps,” said McDuffie. “I will strive to continue that legacy and promote a squadron that maintains high standards and excellence.”