MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The 2nd Marine Regiment flag rippled in the wind as it passed from one commander to the other, signifying their change of command.
Col. Herman S. Clardy III, a Georgetown, S.C., native, took command of 2nd Marines from Col. Stephen W. Davis after Davis’ two-year command of the regiment in a ceremony here, June 8.
Davis assumed command of the regiment on June 30, 2004.
He led the regiment to the Al Anbar province of Iraq in February 2005 for a year conducting many successful combat operations during their deployment.
Davis addressed the crowd of Marines, sailors and families and told them how it felts to be leaving.
“Change of commands are usually bitter sweet affairs especially for the guy that is out-going,” he explained.
He also spoke to Clardy’s wife, Allison, during the ceremony.
“Your husband’s reputation speaks for itself and he will do better than I ever did,” Davis said humbly as he passed the microphone to Clardy.
“I want to thank Col. Davis and acknowledge the magnificent performance during the last two years, and certainly the regimental combat team and the regiment has done a magnificent job,” Clardy said. “I’m truly honored and humbled to have the opportunity to come up and take command from him.”
Clardy joined the Marine Corps in 1983 and was commissioned a second lieutenant after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. He also has a Master of Science degree in Management from Troy University and a Master of Arts degree (with distinction) in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
Clardy first served as a heavy machine gun, rifle and weapons platoon commander and company executive officer with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune.
He later served as the operations officer for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and participated in Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo.
In 2001, Col. Clardy assumed command of 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. From January to June 2003, he participated in Opeartions Enduring and Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.
Upon graduation from the Naval War College in June 2004, he was reassigned to Marine Corps Bases Japan as the assistant chief of staff for community policy, planning and liaison.
Clardy’s personal awards include a Bronze Star with the combat distinguishing device, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals, a Combat Action Ribbon and a Presidential Unit Citation.
Clardy ended the ceremony with his hopes for the future.
“As a staff sergeant once told me when I was a young second lieutenant, ‘the only reason you’re in charge, the only reason you’re a leader and commander is because those Marines are willing to follow you and don’t ever forget that,’ and I haven’t,” Clardy said. “These Marines deserve the best, and I’ll do the best I can as regimental commander.”