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Lieutenant Col. Phillip Zeman, the new commanding officer of the Combat Center’s Headquarters Battalion, holds the unit’s ensign as Sgt. Maj. James D. Walsh [right] the unit’s sergeant major salutes him, during a change of command ceremony at the installation’s Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field July 2. Zeman replaced Lt. Col. Brandon D. McGowan as the commanding officer.

Photo by Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

Zeman takes helm of HQBN

12 Jul 2010 | Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

Lieutenant Col. Phillip Zeman replaced Lt. Col. Brandon D. McGowan as the Combat Center’s Headquarters Battalion commanding officer during a change of command ceremony at the Combat Center’s Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray field July 2.

During the ceremony, McGowan handed the colors to Zeman and marked the end of an approximately two-year span of McGowan leadership of Headquarters battalion here.

“Any time the Marine Corps gives an opportunity to command, I accept,” said Zeman, from Rockport, Mass. “I’m picking up a great battalion.”

Zeman is no stranger to Twentynine Palms, he was formerly assigned to the 7th Marine Regiment and served as the executive officer of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. Zeman left his most recent post at the Strategic Initiatives Group in Headquarters Marine Corps to return to the Combat Center.

McGowan is slated to report to the commanding general of the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command here.

“Headquarters at times is a frustrating beast to get a hold of,” McGowan said of the battalion. “I would like to thank you [the unit] for assisting in the last two years.”

McGowan did give thanks to his former battalion, saying they do a fabulous job of supporting the units aboard the installation by righting a thousand little wrongs a day.

Major John Kevin Henderson, the battalion’s executive officer, said farewell to his friend and former commander, McGowan, and began pondering his future with Zeman in charge.

“You hate to see someone you’ve worked with go, after you’ve built a friendship and developed a chemistry with them,” said Henderson, from New Concord, Ohio. “I personally am looking forward to the opportunity to work with [Zeman].”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms