MARINE CORPS BASE TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- The commanding officer of 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion passed on the battle colors to the new commanding officer in a change-of-command ceremony at the Commanding General’s Parade Deck here July 6.
Lt. Col. Stephen R. Dinauer, the former battalion commanding officer, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Matthew L. Jones during the evening ceremony with more than 35 guests in attendance.
Officers and staff noncommissioned officers were armed with pistol belts and sidearms as their Marines performed crisp manual-of-arms with M-16A4 service rifles during the ceremony.
After the symbolic exchanging of the colors in front of the battalion’s four companies, both incoming and outgoing commanders took time to address the audience gathered as well as the Marines before them.
“I know that the Marines and Sailors of this fine battalion are going to continue to produce above and beyond what is expected in the future,” said Dinauer.
“As people all around the country celebrate our nation’s birthday, you look out here and can see the real national treasure in front of you,” continued Dinauer. “I can guarantee that more people in the world have seen a U.S. Marine than have seen the Washington Monument. That is the country.”
Dinauer is set to attend the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.
With a warm smile and handshake, Dinauer handed the microphone to Jones.
“This is a young battalion, and as I look I see there are not too many ancient streamers on our battle colors, but over the years you have built that legacy and maintained it well,” said Jones.
“The things that you’re doing now and the things that you have done together in recent years have given you a great reputation being called the ‘Wolf Pack’,” Jones continued. “It’s an absolute honor to be able to command Marines of your caliber, and I look forward to serving with you.”
Jones began his Marine Corps career after completing Platoon Leader’s Course in May 1989 following his graduation from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.
Upon completion of The Basic School and Infantry Officers’ Course in Quantico, Va., in Aug. 1990, Jones was assigned as a rifle platoon commander, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, in Al-Jubayl, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Jones remained with 3/9 and served as a platoon commander, Weapons Company, during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Before he left that battalion in 1994, Jones also served as an adjutant and the executive officer of Weapons Company during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.
Jones also served as the commanding officer of Marine Detachment, USS Theodore Roosevelt from 1994 to 1996 under Marine Corps Security Forces Battalion.
After his May 1997 graduation from the Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, Va., Jones reported to 3rd LAR to serve as Charlie Company commander until May 1999.
Jones was then sent to serve as the instructor/inspector for Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, in Terre Haute, Ind. He served in that billet for three years.
In July of 2002, Jones became the executive officer of 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, based in Camp Pendleton. From there, he deployed as part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) for Operation Sweeny in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in southern Iraq. 1/1 also participated in various minor operations and bilateral training exercises in Djibouti, the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf during that deployment.
Jones left 1/1 in June 2004 to serve at Headquarters, Marine Corps, as the infantry cell officer for the ground combat branch of the Plans, Policies and Operations Division. There he was promoted in December to his current rank of lieutenant colonel and served until being reassigned as battalion commander of 3rd LAR.
Jones’ personal decorations include the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star and Combat Action Ribbon with gold star.