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13th MEU

Photo by Lance Cpl. Brian A. Tuthill

3/7 commander passes torch

8 Apr 2005 | Lance Cpl. Brian A. Tuthill

The commanding officer of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, passed on the colors to his successor in a change of command ceremony held on the Commanding General's Parade Deck April 8.Lieutenant Col. Matthew A. Lopez, commanding officer of the battalion, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Roger B. Turner Jr., after two successful tours in Iraq under Lopez's command.A strong breeze ripped across the parade deck, whipping the state flags surrounding the field relentlessly as the battalion's companies formed in front of the adjutant, staff and distinguished guests.Lopez addressed the command expressing his gratitude for having served with his fellow officers and noncommissioned officers of the battalion during their deployments and in garrison."It's been an absolute honor to be a part of this division, and especially this battalion for the past 22 months," said Lopez. "The deeds [of 3/7 Marines] day in and day out speak for themselves. Your deeds will be remembered in the history books."Lopez will attend the Joint Warfare School in Norfolk, Va.During the ceremony, Turner expressed his admiration and respect for the Marines and Sailors of the battalion."I'm honored to be here," said Turner. "3/7 is a unit where their traditions, their history and their esprit seem to transcend who they are. Their professionalism and esprit rub off on everything they do.""It's truly an honor to stand amongst such a fine battalion," said Turner. "When we go back [to Iraq], I'm sure that 3/7 will distinguish itself in the face of the enemy yet again."Turner enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1984 and earned the rank of corporal in the Marine Corps Reserve. He was then commissioned as an officer of Marines in 1989 after attending Officer Candidate’s School in 1988.Turner served as the commanding officer of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, from December 1992 to July 1993.Following assignments in the operating forces, Turner served as the offensive tactics instructor at the Basic Officer's Course and also as an instructor at the Infantry Officer's Course, both in Quantico, Va., until July 1996.From June 1997 to July 1998, Turner was assigned as the commanding officer of Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines.Turner also served as the commanding officer of Recruiting Station Sacramento from July 2001 until June 2004. He was then assigned as the operations officer for 1st Marine Division and deployed to Iraq and served in this billet until January 2005.His personal decorations include two Meritorious Service Medals, a Navy Commendation Medal, a Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
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