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Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, congratulates Lt. Col. John L. Medeiros Jr., the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion commanding officer, after a change of command ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 14, 2013. Medeiros began his career as a platoon commander with 2nd AA Bn.

Photo by Pfc. Jose Mendez Jr.

‘Gator’ Battalion welcomes new CO

17 Jun 2013 | Pfc. Jose Mendez Jr.

Marines and sailors joined together to celebrate a change of command in which the commanding officer of 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, Lt. Col. Patrick W. McCuen relinquished command to Lt. Col. John Medeiros Jr. aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 14.

A change of command ceremony is a tradition that represents the transferring of command from one commanding officer to another.

“You got a fantastic battalion commander coming in. He was my battalion [executive officer],” said McCuen of Bangkok, Thailand. “I can tell you for a fact and personally he will do great things; he was raised in this battalion.”

McCuen started out his career as a second lieutenant, as a platoon commander with 3rd AA Bn., 3rd Marine Division.

“I lived and I grew up in this battalion so I’m proud to be part of it once again,” said Medeiros. “It is my distinct honor and privilege to work beside every single one of you. I’m excited and motivated to be back out here and I look forward to the days that lie ahead of us.”

Medeiros started his career as a platoon commander with 2nd AA Bn., 2nd Marine Division in 1997 when he was a second lieutenant.

McCuen and Medeiros ensured appreciation for their success was expressed, thanking family members, friends, Marines and sailors who have helped and continue to support them.

With the crowd of people smiling and giving a round of applause to the old and new battalion commander, McCuen shouted a loud “YAT-YAS” to the battalion he once commanded.

YAT-YAS is a phrase used by AAV crewman and repairmen to express they are proud to be a part of the amphibious assault lifestyle.

“I’m going to miss this job,” said McCuen. “It’s not a job. This is a way of life.”