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Lieutenant Col. Todd Simmons bids farewell to the Marines of 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, at the change of command ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field May 27, 2011.

Photo by Lance Cpl. D. J. Wu

‘First Team’ welcomes new commanding officer

3 Jun 2011 | Lance Cpl. D. J. Wu

The Marines of 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, welcomed Lt. Col. David Bradney as their new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field May 27, 2011.

Bradney took over command of the unit from Lt. Col. Todd Simmons, who had served as First Team’s commanding officer since September 2009. Bradney comes to the unit from the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan.

Bradney said he looks forward to deploying with his new battalion and working alongside infantrymen again.

“As a Lieutenant Colonel you don’t get many shots at being with a battalion,” Bradney said about the opportunity to lead a battalion. “It’s been a while since I’ve been at the battalion level, so it’s going to be fun.”

The unit’s accomplishments were recognized by guests, including Col. Austin Renforth, the 7th Marine Regiment’s commanding officer. Renforth said First Team knocked every task out of the park every time.

Bradney said he recognizes he has some big boots to fill taking over for Simmons and the battalion, once commanded by the legendary Lt. Col. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller. Bradney said he knows what it means to be part of the First Team and fully appreciates it.

“It is indeed an honor to be among you,” Bradney said to his Marines and sailors. “I promise that I will work every day to earn and keep your trust.”

While Bradney moves into his position, Simmons will be temporarily serving as the regiment’s executive officer before moving on to his next assignment.

With a deployment scheduled in the near future, Bradney reassured his Marines that he would prepare them for Afghanistan and ended his speech with a reminder that while the unit changes hands, its mission remains the same.

“There is much work in front of us, so it is definitely time to prepare to march,” he said.


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