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Lt. Col. David Hart, off-going commanding officer, ceremonially passes the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, colors to Lt. Col. Erick Clark, on-coming commanding officer, during the battalion’s change of command ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field, June 21, 2016. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Thomas Mudd/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Thomas Mudd

‘First Team’ welcomes new CO

27 Jun 2016 | Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Lt. Col. David Hart relinquished command of 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, to Lt. Col. Erick Clark during the battalion’s change of command ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field, June 21, 2016.

Hart took command of ‘First Team’ in December, 2014, and has played a vital role in preparing his Marines in their mission to locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, or to repel his assault by fire and close combat.

“It has been an honor to be able to serve as part of this battalion,” Hart said. “I consider myself lucky to be able to serve with such excellent Marines and sailors.”

Hart passed command of the battalion to Clark with the ceremonial passing of the unit’s colors. The passing of the colors represents the commanding officer bequeathing responsibility to the next commanding officer.

“I feel that this battalion is in great hands with Lt. Col. Clark,” Hart said. “He is a man of excellent character and will lead this battalion well in his time here.”

Hart will depart the Combat Center to attend the Marine Corps War College aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. During Murphy’s time as 1/7’s commanding officer he led the battalion in support of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command.

Clark addressed the audience, thanking them for their attendance and expressed his gratitude for being able to serve as this unit’s commanding officer.

“This battalion stands on the shoulders of giants,” Clark said. “I was told before coming here by a Marine in 1/7 that while you are part of the battalion you feel 10 feet tall. I understand that now after seeing the Marines here. This battalion has been blessed with some of the most iconic leaders in the Marine Corps and we work to uphold that greatness to this day.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms