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Lt. Col. Sekou S. Karega, the outgoing commanding officer of Combat Logistics Battalion 7, hands the Marine Corps flag to Lt. Col. Craig P. Barnett during the CLB-7 change of command ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field Sept. 25.

Photo by Cpl. Nicole A. LaVine

CLB-7 receives new commander after return from Iraq

2 Oct 2009 | Cpl. Nicole A. LaVine

Lt. Col. Sekou S. Karega relinquished command of Combat Logistics Battalion 7, to Lt. Col Craig P. Barnett in a change of command ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field Friday.

Karega, a native of Benton Harbor, Mich., said that like himself, Barnett is a detail-oriented man looking to ensure his unit is fully prepared for future deployments to Afghanistan.    

“Detail is key,” Karega said. “The Marines may not like it initially, but it will make them better in the long run. I know Lt. Col. Barnett will take good care of this battalion. I’m happy to see a high-caliber man like him take charge, and I know the unit will be in good hands.”

Barnett agreed about detail, noting a respected senior officer once told him to pay attention to the small details, and the big ones would take care of themselves.

“My personal [leadership] style is quiet and caring,” he said. “But I do hold to the standard.”

Karega has received orders to report as the intelligence Marine attaché in Senegal, a country in West Africa.

Barnett, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., previously served as the executive officer of Combat Logistics Regiment 1, from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Barnett was commissioned as an officer in May 1992 after graduating from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Between 1994 and 1997, he carried out duties at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., as the supply officer for Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2, and later as the supply and fiscal officer of Marine Air Control Group 28.

Barnett then transfered to Camp Pendleton in March 1997 to become the supply analyst and supply team leader for Field Supply and Maintenance Analysis Office 2, and then attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., two years later.

In March 2003, Barnett deployed to Iraq with the Expeditionary Force Combat Assessment Team, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. He deployed again in 2004 as the senior watch officer for Future Plans Branch, 1st Force Service Support Group.

He then reported to Headquarters Marine Corps in Arlington, Va., in June 2005 to serve as the assistant current operations officer, and later became the executive officer of 15th Marine Logistics Group.  While serving with 15th MLG, Barnett deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2006.

Barnett said he felt honored and humbled to take charge of the unit.

“I know that I have big shoes to fill,” he said during his speech. “But I am fully committed to this task, and I won’t let the excellent reputation of this battalion fall.”

Maj. Meredith W. Brown, CLB-7’s executive officer, said she and Barnett had worked together previously while he served as the executive officer of CLR-1 since Karega was deployed overseas. Brown said she turned to Barnett for guidance when Karega was unavailable, and noted Barnett’s experience has set him up for success for his current position.

“This is a big billet to step into,” said Brown, a native of Thibodaux, La. “He did such an excellent job in 1st MLG and in the MEU. His experience as an executive officer will definitely help him perform his duties here.”

CLB-7 just returned from Iraq last month and will continue to train as they fight to prepare for Afghanistan deployments, Barnett said.

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