Photo By Cpl. Ned Johnson | Lt. Colonels Joseph Russo and David Everly salute after Russo relinquished command of 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, to Everly during a change of command ceremony at Las Pulgas, June 16. During the previous two years, Russo commanded the battalion that always had at least one battery deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and Everly said he hopes to maintain the combat readiness of his new unit.
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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — The Marines of 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment formed a full parade on a sunny day in Las Pulgas, as Lt. Col. Joseph Russo relinquished command to Lt. Col David Everly, and Sgt. Maj. Rodrigo Macias relieved Sgt. Maj. Scott Van De Even, June 16.
Russo and Macias took over the battalion together 27 months ago and left together as well.
“When Sgt. Maj. Van De Even and I walked off the parade deck together 27 months ago, I said, ‘Are you ready for this?’ and he said ‘Let’s do it,’” Russo said.
During their command, 5/11 deployed multiple batteries in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and changed the way the Marine Corps uses rocket artillery on the battlefield, Everly said during his speech.
“Sgt. Maj. Macias and myself realize that we have some really big shoes to fill,” Everly said.
The ceremony involved full pomp and circumstance for a change of command including the 1st Marine Division Band, rifle manual, and a troop pass in review.
“To the Marines and sailors of 5th Battalion, you have done a magnificent job today; I appreciate the hard work that has gone into making this occasion,” Everly said. “I am proud to serve you as your commander and am looking forward to meeting you and your families in the coming months.”
The Marines have a new commander and sergeant major, but training for upcoming deployments will continue for the rocket artillerymen of 5/11.
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CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
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