Twentynine Palms -- Lt. Col. Lee M. Rush relinquished command of 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, to Lt. Col. Christopher Meyers during the battalion’s change of command ceremony at the tank ramp aboard the Combat Center, June 22, 2016.
Rush assumed command of 1st Tanks in June, 2014. While serving as commander, his focus was on ensuring the Marines’ readiness to engage the enemy using expeditionary armor-protected firepower, shock effect and maneuver in support of a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the range of military operations.
“This is an emotional day for me; this is my family,” Rush said. “I couldn’t be more proud of who the Marines and sailors are, what they have achieved and what they are going to accomplish.”
Rush’s experience as battalion commander of 1st Tanks goes back to 2008, when he first assumed the duty after serving as the battalion’s executive officer. He’s currently executing orders to study at the National War College in Washington, D.C.
During the ceremony, Rush performed the ceremonial exchange of the battalion’s colors with Meyers; a tradition representing the passing of authority and responsibility. Meyers recently returned from the National War College and intends to build upon the strong foundation Rush has laid for the battalion.
“The unit certainly has a rich history,” Meyers said. “The Marines of 1st Tanks have accomplished a lot in the last few years and I just hope to keep the ball moving forward.”
Rush expressed confidence in Meyers ability to lead the battalion and has high hopes for the future of 1st Tanks.
“I think they are in fantastic shape and we’ve come a long way,” Rush said. “There is always more work to be done and I think Lt. Col. Meyers is going to come in and take this battalion to the next level.”