MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Col. James H. Herrera relieved Col. Steven M. Hanson as the commanding officer of I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group during a change of command ceremony at Camp Pendleton, May 21.
During the ceremony, Hanson passed on I MHG’s guidon to Herrera, signifying his relinquishing of command and Herrera’s new responsibilities.
Hanson assumed command of I MHG, April 28, 2011, and spoke of the pride he took in being able to command the unit.
“For the Marines and sailors of I MHG, those of you out there in formation, you represent the 5,000-plus Marines and sailors of the MHG,” Hanson said. “Your dedication to be part of this Marine Corps during a time of war, when your country needs you most, is truly remarkable. I could not be prouder to have been one of your commanders for the past 25 months and I know you’re going to continue to do great things. You’re going to continue to prepare, go off for war and get it done everyday cause your country needs you. Thank you very much.”
Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, praised Hanson’s abilities as a leader while commanding the various units within I MHG.
“We couldn’t have found a better guy to command this organization and the myriad of talented young people,” said Lt. Gen. Toolan. “He did a remarkable job and he was able to give of himself to each one of those groups separately and really not only lead them, but encourage them and help educate them.”
During his speech, Hanson expressed his confidence in Herrera’s abilities as a commander.
“Jim is absolutely the perfect man for the right job at the right time, and I think he is going to be an absolutely superb commander,” Hanson said.
Herrera said he is ready and prepared to continue to lead I MHG toward future successes.
“You can rest assured I will be dedicated to the Sentinels, to their families, and I will lead with strength, compassion and conviction,” Herrera said.