MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (May 24, 2007)– -- “America’s Battalion” gathered to observe an exchange at the heart of its leadership when Lt. Col. Kenneth M. DeTreux relinquished command of 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, to Lt. Col. Jay M. Bargeron in a change of command ceremony here, May 24.
DeTreux, a Temple University graduate, assumed command of the unit in November 2005. He previously served as the regimental executive officer for 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. With plans to attend the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., DeTreux has left behind a group of Marines he will always respect and admire.
“It's been an absolute honor and privilege to serve the magnificent Marines in this battalion as their battalion commander,” said DeTreux, a Philadelphia native. “The last 19 months have been the most challenging, the most rewarding and gratifying of my career.”
Bargeron was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduating from the University of Florida in 1989. He previously served as the regimental executive officer for 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, in Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Sgt. Maj. Scott D. Reaves, the battalion sergeant major, approached with the battalion colors as the two experienced leaders faced a bend in their career path.
The transfer of the colors during the ceremony signified the relinquishing of responsibility, accountability and authority of the outgoing commander as the incoming commander confirmed his total dedication to the Marines and sailors of his new command.
Bargeron, a Valdosta, Ga., native, expressed a great deal of admiration toward the outgoing commander and a deep respect for his new command.
“You’ve set a great example for me to follow,” he said. “I’m very humbled to have the opportunity to lead this group of Marines and sailors.”
The battalion deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from July 2006 to February 2007. During this period, the battalion performed with great professionalism in numerous counterinsurgency operations.
“I was proud to witness the wisdom, strength and courage exhibited by our Marines every single day in a very challenging, complex and inherently dangerous environment,” DeTreux said.
Bargeron pledges to take on his new position with steadfast loyalty.
“You’ll get my best effort everyday, because I know that’s what I’ll get from you,” Bargeron said.