MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS -- Colonel Jay M. Bargeron ceremoniously passed the 7th Marine Regiment guidon to Col. William H. Vivian at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field, Dec. 18, 2015.
Joining the likes of Lt. Gen. Lewis ‘Chesty’ Puller and Gen. James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who have led Magnificent Seventh, Bargeron is leaving his mark on the illustrious regiment and moving on to serve as the director of Tactical Training Exercise Control Group.
“It’s bittersweet, just like it always is, leaving a command,” Bargeron said. “It’s hard for me to look back at the past few years and feel anything other than proud.”
Bargeron assumed command of the ‘Magnificent Seventh’ in 2013. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star with two gold stars in lieu of third award, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal and Combat Action Ribbon. During his time as regimental commander, Bargeron lead his troops through a transition in operational tempo.
“Something that strikes me is the amount of change the Marines have dealt with over the past couple of years,” Bargeron said. “We started getting battalions ready for Afghanistan and then we quickly shifted our focus to prepare them for the [Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force] deployments. Between those two things, and in light of other changes and requirements, the one constant has always been the performance of the Marines.”
During the ceremony, the transfer of the regimental guidon, which symbolizes the transfer of responsibility and authority of 7th Marine Regiment, was performed by the outgoing and incoming regimental commanders. Following a speech from Vivian, the families of both commanders were presented with flowers. The ceremony finished with the Marines and sailors of ‘Magnificent Seventh’ performing a pass-in-review for their new commander.
“I started my career here at Twentynine Palms more than 28 years ago as an enlisted Marine,” Vivian said. “To the Marines of the ‘Magnificent 7th’, I’m both thrilled and honored to be joining the winning team.”
Bargeron will remain aboard the Combat Center at TTECG serving as its director.
“I’m excited about my new assignment for two reasons,” said Bargeron. “ One of which is; I’m still going to be working directly with Marines to make them combat ready. The second is; I’ll still be working with battalion commanders who I can help coach and mentor. As a regimental commander that’s what I did and now I get to continue doing that.”
As Bargeron looks forward to serving in TTECG, he will bring with him the knowledge and reputation he acquired from leading the ‘Magnificent Seventh’.
“I’ve taken a lot away from leading the illustrious 7th Marine Regiment,” Bargeron said. “Leading the same regiment that Chesty Puller, Jay Vargas and James Mattis have lead and serving day in and day out with those Marines that are out there making things happen, is a humbling experience. It has been a pleasure and a privilege.”