News: WWR welcomes new commander
Story by Capt. Jill Wolf
TRIANGLE, Va. – Hundreds gathered at the National Museum of the Marine Corps as Col. John L. Mayer relinquished his command to Col. Willard A. Buhl during a change of command ceremony for the Wounded Warrior Regiment here.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos was the reviewing officer for the ceremony, which was attended by several general officers, Marine leaders, regimental staff members, family members and friends of the Regiment. Over 60 wounded, ill and injured Marines from the Wounded Warrior Battalion- East, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center detachment also attended the ceremony.
Mayer served as the commanding officer of the WWR since July 2010. During his tenure at the WWR, Mayer played a pivotal role in the development of the Regiment’s lines of operation programs, family support plan, and many other programs. Mayer’s vision for the Regiment focused on ensuring that every wounded, ill and injured Marine participated in multiple programs to enhance their recoveries.
Mayer, and avid horseman, also initiated the development of a horsemanship program for Marines across the Regiment. This provided unique opportunities for Marines to gain exposure to horsemanship activities such as cutting horse competitions and cattle drives. Many of the individuals and organizations associated with the success of this program were among the ceremony’s honored guests.
When expressing his appreciation for Mayer’s dedicated service, characterized by his passion for those he leads, Gen. Amos told Mayer, “You’ve put your personal fingerprints on our Marines John, that’s what you’ve done.”
After receiving recognition, Mayer thanked those who made his service to the WWR a success. He said, “the Wounded Warrior Regiment is an idea, it’s a command, but really it’s made up of people,” acknowledging the many people and organizations that contribute to caring for wounded, ill and injured Marines.
Mayer will move on to serve as the chief of staff for amphibious operations for the 1st Division Royal Australian Army.
Buhl comes to the WWR after serving as a military fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, N.Y. His work there will allow Buhl to bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the WWR. In addition, Buhl commanded 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division from 2009 to 2011 and served as the battalion commander of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines from 2003 to 2005.
In his remarks, Buhl thanked the Commandant of the Marine Corps, “for the high privilege and blessed duty I am assigned to.”
In closing, Buhl made a pledge, saying “I will give my very best every day for this Regiment, the Marines and their families who are a part of it.”