MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The 2nd Marine Division traded hands during a ceremony outside the unit’s headquarters here, June 16.
Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck relinquished command of the “Follow Me” division to Maj. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin before hundreds of assembled friends, families and fellow Marines.
Huck, a veteran of 35 years of military service, commanded thousands of infantrymen, combat engineers, tankers and supporting personnel during his almost two-year-long tenure as division commander. His time in this unit was one of the highlights of his career, he said during the ceremony as he thanked the many distinguished guests in attendance.
Huck’s previous assignments have included military assistant to the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps in 1997, 2nd Marine Division’s assistant commander from 1999 through 2001, and chief of staff, United States Southern Command until July 2003. He took the reigns of the division Nov. 10, 2004.
Huck led his division through one year of combat operations in Iraq’s turbulent Al Anbar province from February 2005 to February 2006.
Gaskin, meanwhile, served as Marine Corps Recruiting Command’s commanding general starting in Sept. 2004. He has also led Training Command, Training and Education Command in March 2000, subsequently serving as the deputy commanding general for Fleet Marine Forces Europe.
Both Huck and Gaskin stated they were grateful to the Marines and sailors of the division, as well as for the support from their friends and families, in helping them lead the battle-hardened division during these times of war.
“Second Marine Division is a great organization made up of great leaders and all types of people,” Huck stated. “They all accomplish the mission, and that’s job number one in this division.”
Following Huck’s remarks, Gaskin took the microphone to address the audience. He said he was honored to take command from Huck and will continue preparing the ground-pounding division for future deployments.
“Thank you for your service, and let me tell you that we are in awe and appreciation beyond words (for the work you do),” stated Gaskin, addressing the division’s Marines. “But prepare for more. Our country still needs our service; our Corps still needs to prepare you to go. Remain focused and dedicated to the challenge for when our country calls, as it always will … send in the Marines!”