Twentynine Palms -- Lt. Col. Dennis A. Sanchez relinquished command of Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, to Lt. Col. Michael Cable during a change of command ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field June 8, 2016.
Sanchez assumed command of Headquarters Battalion July 2, 2014. While serving as battalion commander, he coordinated the unit’s more than 60 different sections, each with varying missions and responsibilities to the Combat Center.
“One thing that stuck out about him was his true care and concern for the individual Marine as well as their families,” said Sgt. Maj. Avery Crespin, battalion sergeant major, Headquarters Battalion. “He truly lived up to the battalion’s motto ‘Mission First, People Always.’ He really put his heart and soul into the whole Marine concept.”
During the ceremony, the transfer of the battalion colors, symbolizing the transfer of responsibility and authority of Headquarters Battalion, was performed by the outgoing and incoming commanders.
“As United States Marines we are all about our customs and traditions,” Crespin said. “The ceremonial purposes of that transfer are very important for the Marines to see that the old [commander] is gone and the new [commander] has the flag; let’s see where he runs with it.”
The oncoming battalion commander, Cable previously served as the operations officer for 1st Marine Division where he deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command. He explained the opportunity to serve as the commander as one he looks forward to and an honor.
“I’m looking forward to just the challenge; it is a very large battalion, one of the largest in the Marine Corps,” Cable said. “It is absolutely a great opportunity to work alongside outstanding Marines.”
Sanchez has received orders to attend the Naval Warfare College in Newport, Rhode Island. At the conclusion of the ceremony, he thanked the Marines of Headquarters Battalion for serving alongside him.
“The Marines amaze me each and every day because they are so young, yet their skillset and work ethic is that of professionals,” Sanchez said.