Veterans, Marines and sailors gathered together to remember the legacy and the heritage of the 2nd Marine Division at the 75th annual battle colors rededication and award ceremony at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 5.
The 2nd Marine Brigade was formed July 1, 1936, in San Diego, Calif. It wasn't until Feb. 1, 1941, that the brigade was rechristened as the 2nd Marine Division in Camp Elliott, Calif.
In honor of the Marines who had fought in previous wars, battle streamers were rededicated and placed on the division's flag, or colors.
Maj. Gen. Brian D. Beaudreault, commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, addresses the attendees of the 2nd Marine Division battle colors rededication and award ceremony at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 5, 2016. “This ceremony is about winning, it's about the achievements of the 2nd Marine Division, it's about recognizing Marines, and it's about what it took to hang that battle streamer,” Beaudreault said. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Luke Hoogendam)
“The colors used to be where the line of battle was,” said Sgt.Maj. Ronald Himsworth (Ret.), the president of the 2nd Marine Division Association. “What the colors represent today is the pride of that unit, and that those colors must never fall.”
At the ceremony, a total of 16 streamers were rededicated to the division. The streamers awarded represent the different conflicts that the division has fought and won. A veteran from the war that each battle streamer was earned as well as a Marine currently serving in the division, escorted each streamer to the colors.
“This ceremony is such a big event because it shows this generation of Marines who stood before them, and the passion and enthusiasm that the veterans maintained for the Marine Corps, which gives the Marines motivation to work hard and succeed,” said 1st Lt. Michael P. Hutton, a platoon commander from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.
After honoring our veterans, the ceremony continued by awarding service members currently serving in the 2nd Marine Division for their outstanding leadership and performance. The awardees consisted of three Marines and one sailor.
1st Lt. Michael P. Hutton was presented the Tarawa Award for being an exceptional platoon commander for 2nd Marine Division. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Matthew G. Cale was presented the Clayton B. Vogel Award for exceptional leadership as a staff noncommissioned officer.
Cale also accepted the Follow Me Award on behalf of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines for the highest proficiency in marksmanship.
Sgt. John J. Cohee, a noncommissioned officer with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, talks to a veteran who served with the 2nd Marine Division after receiving an award for outstanding leadership at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb 5, 2016. The ceremony celebrated the traditions and legacy of the 2nd Marine Division and reinforced the bond between the Marines of wars past and a new generation of Marines (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Luke Hoogendam)
Sgt. John J. Cohee was presented the Julian C. Smith Award for exceptional leadership as a noncommissioned officer. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Justin M. Mullins was presented the John Henry Balch award for exceptional performance as a hospitalman for 2nd Marine Division.
“The reason for this ceremony is to show the history of the Marine Corps,” Himsworth said. “Whether you served during combat or peace time, for three years or 32 years, we are a band of brothers, and we care about one another.”
By U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Luke Hoogendam
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