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Lt. Col. Daniel T. Canfield Jr. relinquishes his duties as commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, to Lt. Col. Kevin C. Trimble, during a change during a change of command ceremony, June 17, 2011, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. The Marines and sailors of 1/8 recently returned from Afghanistan where they fought numerous battles in their area of operations.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Johnston

1/8 passes the torch to a new leader

20 Jun 2011 | Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Johnston

Friends, families, Marines and sailors gathered for a change of command ceremony June 17, 2011, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Lt. Col. Daniel T. Canfield Jr. relinquished his duties as commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, to Lt. Col. Kevin C. Trimble, during the ceremony where both men were praised by their leaders.

“Dan, as you relinquish command from 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, do so with a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment. The performance of this fine battalion is nothing short of historic,” said Brig. Gen. W. Lee Miller, the acting commanding general of 2nd MarDiv.

The Marines and sailors of 1/8 recently returned from Afghanistan, where they fought numerous battles in their area of operations. Miller made it a point to acknowledge the outgoing commander’s accomplishments as a leader and talked about how Canfield’s battalion’s hard work and dedication left a lasting impact on the people of Afghanistan for years to come.

“Under your exemplary leadership the balanced excellence exhibited by 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment was decisive in enabling coalition forces to completely turn the tide in Musa Qaleh and the Now Zad District,” said Miller’s citation. “In doing so, you led a decisively focused and comprehensive campaign that leveraged your battalion’s capabilities in order to expand the influence of the Afghan government in the Northern Helmand Province.”

Col. Paul J. Kennedy, commanding officer of 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd MarDiv, echoed Miller’s remarks and addressed the crowd with pride, describing 1/8 as one of America’s finest fighting forces.

“I’ve seen—as a commanding officer of several battalions in combat—others try their mightiest to accomplish what 1st Battalion, 8th Marines seemed to do with ease and dignity and with effectiveness,” Kennedy said to the crowd. “The Marines that you see assembled before you are one of the finest fighting organizations that I believe this division has fielded in this war on terror."

The longtime tradition of passing unit colors continued while 1/8 stood at attention. Canfield handed the colors to his counterpart, and Trimble officially took command of the battalion.

“In reality what today is, is an accounting of a battalion and a vouching by the Marines of that battalion for the leadership that took them into harms way and back,” said Kennedy. “They showed the world how a counterinsurgency is to be waged— they were merciless with their enemies. They also showed compassion, they showed nuance, they showed the people of Afghanistan what a future could look like under their care.”