MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion made history by conducting a battalion hike to commemorate a new command post at Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 21, 2016.
The battalion was posted at its former facility in the Hadnot Point area of the base since World War II, but after years of preparation and development, an all-new state-of-the-art facility in the Courthouse Bay area was made ready for the unit to officially relocate to.
“As a battalion, we made a movement all the way here to occupy our new home,” said Lt. Col. Gary A. McCullar, the commanding officer of 2nd CEB. “When people walk into this building, they will see that this is the home of 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion. They will understand what combat engineers are and what we do.”
The 12-mile hike was led by Maj. Gen. Brian Beaudreault, commanding general 2nd Marine Division; McCullar; and Sgt. Maj. Demetrius L. Hadley, the sergeant major of 2nd CEB. McCullar proclaimed the advantages that the facility offered, from planning space to the efficient access of the engineer training areas down the road.
“This new facility was built to all of our specifications based on the battalion’s needs and the personnel that we have,” McCullar said. “There is plenty of space to lay out equipment and plan operations at the platoon, company and battalion levels.”
Upon reaching their new command post, Beaudreault and McCullar inaugurated the event by cutting down a barbed wire fence outside the facility’s doors, symbolizing the combat engineer’s duty and specialty to breach obstacles, wherever they may be.
“It’s really not the building that matters, but the Marines that occupy it. It’s what you do that represents the professionalism of this battalion,” Beaudreault said. “Keep up the great work.”
The battalion’s Fallen Warriors Memorial was moved to its rightful place outside the front doors of the building, displaying the names of the 29 individuals from the battalion that gave all during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
“Some of these Marines have served under me before, and they are all forever a part of this battalion,” McCullar said.
The battalion and its assets will remain posted at the facility for the foreseeable future.
“There’s no better way to break-in a new home than with muddy boots,” Beaudreault said.