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Col. Paul J. Kennedy, the former commanding officer of 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, faces away from the audience while receiving the guidon from Sgt. Maj. George W. Young Jr., the regimental sergeant major, during a change of command ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., July 14, 2011. Kennedy relinquished his command to Col. William M. Jurney after leading the regiment for the past three years.

Photo by By Cpl. Johnny Merkley

Tarawa regiment bids farewell to Kennedy

14 Jul 2011 | Cpl. Johnny Merkley

Col. Paul J. Kennedy, the highest ranking officer of 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, relinquished authority of the regiment to his successor Col. William M. Jurney in a change of command ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., July 14.

Following the opening ceremony and invocation by Lt. Cmdr. Paul N. Rumery, the regimental chaplain, Brig. Gen. W. L. Miller Jr., the acting commanding general of 2nd MarDiv, said a few words about Kennedy and his many accomplishments.

“The performance of this fine regiment is nothing short of historic. Under your vision, leadership, diplomatic skills and unrelenting focus on the enemy, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, lead the successful campaign against enemy forces in Afghanistan,” said Miller. “Specifically, your efforts significantly enhanced the war fighting capabilities and execution of multiple operations across the coalition forces area of operation.”

For the past three years, the regiment has been commanded by Kennedy who led Regimental Combat Team 2 to Helmand province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2010 to 2011.

Once all the congratulations of the gentlemen for their accomplishments were read, Kennedy conducted the traditional symbolic transfer of command by handing the regimental guidon to Jurney, his successor.

With many awards and experiences throughout his Marine Corps career, Kennedy spoke specifically about his time on Camp Lejeune with the 2nd Marine Regiment and how much this unit means to him.

“I can’t be prouder. This is probably the highlight of my career,” said Kennedy. “This is my family – I trust the Marines within the regiment with my life because this is a fantastic unit.”

After Kennedy thanked his family, friends and Marines, Jurney addressed his new regiment and audience members on what to expect from him while he takes his new command.

“Marines, you’ve done your Corps proud by honoring our traditions. I thank you for your professionalism, and you can expect 100 percent the same from me,” said Jurney. “Command during a time of war is a distinct honor, I’m proud to be here and even prouder to be serving with each and every one of you.”

In conclusion to the ceremony, the regiment conducted the customary pass in review to show respect for the two commanders before they went their separate ways.