MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Friends, families, Marines and sailors gathered for a change of command ceremony June 30, 2011, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., during which Lt. Col. Todd R. Finley relinquished his duties as commanding officer of 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, to Lt. Col. Todd E. Perry.
Finley wanted people in the audience to understand that although change of command ceremonies generally focused on the leaders, it was his true belief that events like these were meant to honor the Marines and sailors who sacrificed their lives to bring them where they are now.
“We talk about the change of command and certainly the spotlight is on the commanders today, but in reality, the men that stand before you are the true reason that we’re here,” said Finley. “Today we honor the Marines past, present and future; not only of our Corps, but of this battalion in particular.”
Brig. Gen. W. Lee Miller, the acting commanding general of 2nd MarDiv, was on deck and praised Finley for his hard work and dedication as a commander. He wished him the best of luck in his future endeavors as a Marine Corps leader and recognized his accomplishments during the battalion’s most recent deployment in Afghanistan.
“Under your exemplary leadership, professionalism and unwavering focus to mission accomplishment, 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines affected the battlefield across the U.S. zone of operations in Afghanistan,” said Miller. “In doing, you led a decisively focused and comprehensive campaign to leverage your battalion’s capabilities with a profound impact in counter-insurgency operations and civil affairs projects—dramatically impacting the relationships between coalition forces and the Afghan people. Your leadership and personal example were key factors in forming a foundation to build upon.”
The longtime tradition of passing unit colors continued while 3/10 stood at attention. Finley handed the colors to his counterpart, and Perry officially took command of the battalion.
As the ceremony drew to an end, Finley turned to his parting battalion and bid them a final farewell.
“I leave you with a parting shot Marines—I’m proud of you. Thank you for what you do, the sacrifices you make and the services you do,” said Finley. “The nation appreciates it, and I certainly do as well. It has been an honor to serve alongside you. Please carry on with the good things you’re doing. Good luck and God bless.”