Updated: Jul 24
On March 11, 2023, Colonel Quintin Jones relinquished command of the 23rd Marine Regiment to Colonel Garth Massey at the Marines Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco. The Change of Command ceremony was presided over by Brigadier General Douglas Clark, the Commanding General of the 4th Marine Division.
The Change of Command ceremony is a time-honored tradition in the Marine Corps, signifying the passing of leadership from one commander to another. The ceremony is not just a formality; it serves as an opportunity for the outgoing commander to reflect on their time in command, pass on lessons learned, and reinforce the values and traditions of the Marine Corps.
The ceremony began with the playing of the national anthem and an invocation, followed by Colonel Jones delivering a farewell address. Colonel Jones expressed his gratitude to his fellow Marines, family, and members of the community who supported him during his tenure as the commander of the 23rd Marine Regiment. He specifically mentioned Wine Country Marines, a non-profit organization that provides comfort and assistance to military and veterans in need. Colonel Jones cited an example of a Marine diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and how Wine Country Marines provided much-needed support to the Marine and his family.
Wine Country Marines President James Brown was in attendance where he pledged his continued support to the incoming Commander, while also reminding Colonel Jones that supporting Marines knows no borders or boundaries, to remember we are only a phone call away should any of his service members need assistance at this next command.
The most significant moment of the ceremony occurred when Colonel Jones formally relinquished command to Colonel Massey. This was symbolized by the passing of the unit colors, or flag, to the Sgt. Maj., who then passed it to Colonel Massey. This exchange represented the peaceful transfer of responsibility and the beginning of Colonel Massey's tenure as the new commander of the 23rd Marine Regiment.
Colonel Massey then addressed the Marines, signifying his commitment and expectations for the unit. The ceremony ended with the playing of "Anchors Aweigh" and the Marines' Hymn.
(Video Credit: GySgt Kristina Perieff, 23d Marine Regiment)
Colonel Jones' tenure at the 23rd Marine Regiment was shorter than usual, as he was required to depart earlier than originally planned due to his new assignment as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This senior-level position requires exceptional organizational, leadership, operational and communication skills, as well as the ability to work effectively under pressure and handle confidential information. Colonel Jones, having served in the Marine Corps for 24 years and having extensive experience in numerous billets, including commanding the largest infantry regiment in the Marine Corps, is well suited for this new assignment.
The Change of Command ceremony serves as a reminder of the Marine Corps' commitment to duty, honor, and country. It is an opportunity to pay tribute to the outgoing commander, welcome the incoming commander, and renew the commitment of the Marines under their charge. The Marine Corps values continuity of leadership and the transfer of institutional knowledge, and the Change of Command ceremony is a tangible expression of this.
The 23rd Marine Regiment is a highly skilled and battle-tested infantry regiment in the United States Marine Corps. The regiment is part of the 4th Marine Division, which is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. The regiment's mission is to provide combat-ready infantry forces to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) for worldwide deployment. They are also responsible for conducting amphibious assaults, close combat, and other offensive operations against enemy forces.
The 23rd Marine Regiment has a long and distinguished history dating back to World War II. They were first activated in San Diego, California, on July 1, 1943, and subsequently deployed to the Pacific Theater. The regiment participated in numerous amphibious assaults, including the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa. They also served in the Korean War, where they participated in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. In recent years, the 23rd Marine Regiment has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have provided critical support in the fight against terrorism. Today, the regiment remains one of the most capable and well-respected units in the Marine Corps.