News: ‘China Marines’ of 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment receives a new commander
Story by Sgt. Jacob Harrer
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Major Christopher J. Bronzi relieved Lt. Col. Kevin A. Norton as the commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, during a change-of-command ceremony at Camp Horno landing here, Sept. 6, 2012.
During the ceremony, Norton passed the battalion guidon to Bronzi as a symbol of the transfer of authority to the incoming commanding officer.
Norton was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding performance for 16 months as the company commander.
Norton assumed command of 1/4 on May 19, 2011. During his tenure in 2012, he led the battalion as the ground combat element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in Okinawa, Japan. The MEU completed an Asia-Pacific deployment, conducting exercises in the Philippines, Thailand, Korea, and other nations.
“It’s been a hell of a ride in the last 16 months,” said Norton, a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. “Those battle streamers on those colors represent heaps of humility and pride… for all the boys that went on the Pacific tour, we did a hell of a job and I owe it all to you.”
Bronzi graduated from the Naval Academy in 1996. He completed the Infantry Officer course served as a platoon commander with Weapons Company, 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines.
In 2004, Bronzi assumed command of Golf Company, 2nd Bn., 4th Marines. While a company commander, he deployed to Ar Ramadi, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. After returning from Iraq, Bronzi was transferred to Weapons Co. and deployed as the Mobil Assault Company commander for the 31st MEU.
Bronzi served as an operations officer with Regimental Combat Team 1 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He left his post as the operations officer of 1st Marine Regiment to assume command of 1/4.
“I am proud to be part of this great unit,” said Bronzi, a 39-year-old native of Poughquag, N.Y. “I look forward to getting to know all of you-- to working with you and for you and hopefully fighting alongside you.”
Bronzi said he wants to ensure the training the Marines receive is the most realistic and as challenging as possible. He is excited to be able to lead the battalion as it deploys with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“I think there’s no better place in the world to be in than an infantry battalion,” concluded Bronzi. “I know that this is a blessing and not everyone in my rank gets to go back to an infantry battalion, so I’m looking forward to it.”