MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Lieutenant Col. Daron Mizell assumed command of the 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force from Lt. Col. Jan R. Durham during a change of command ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 23, 2014.
In attendance of the ceremony was Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, commanding general, I MEF; Brig. Gen. Carl E. Mundy III, deputy commanding general, I MEF; and Col. James H. Herrera, commanding officer, I MEF Headquarters Group.
During the ceremony, Herrera addressed the Marines and guests and highlighted the significance of a change of command.
“It is the transfer of a sacred responsibility between two commanders, but there’s one other element as well,” said Herrera. “It represents what [the Marines of the battalion] have accomplished.”
Herrera recognized the efforts Marines with 1st LEB have made to be successful and how such accomplishments reflect on their commanding officer.
“[1st LEB] is the youngest of our five battalions,” said Herrera. “Like any young organization it comes with some growing pains, and I guarantee you they’ve worked through all of them.”
Herrera thanked Durham and his family for their devotion to the Marine Corps, and expressed his confidence in Mizell’s abilities for the new journey.
Durham, who had been with 1st LEB since February of 2012, spoke about the accomplishment of the battalion and the key role his Marines played.
“The success 1st LEB has achieved has been on [the Marines’] shoulders, and all the credit goes to them,” said Durham.
Durham also thanked his colleagues and family for their support, and finished by addressing his Marines and imparting them with words of gratitude and wisdom.
“I know under Lt. Col. Mizell you will do great things,” said Durham. “Keep doing what you’re doing and make a proud name for yourselves.”
Durham is leaving 1st LEB for his new assignment at the Operations Section, I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group.
Mizell, who served as the Provost Marshal for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., since 2011, addressed his Marines for the first time and encouraged them to continue to work hard.
“Despite all the tremendous work that has been done, many challenges lie ahead,” said Mizell. “Now it’s my responsibility and our collective task to push it to the next level.”
Mizell said he is looking forward to showing what 1st LEB is capable of doing to contribute to the MEF’s mission.
Mizell enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1990 and was later selected for the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program. He graduated the University of Washington in May 1995 and was then commissioned as a second lieutenant.
Mizell held various billets including platoon commander for 1st Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Company in Norfolk, Va., and operations officer and provost marshal for Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.
Later in his career, Mizell served as the regional affairs officer and lead theater security cooperation planner for US Marine Corps Forces Central Command in Tampa, Fla.
1st LEB’s mission focuses on conducting law and order operations in order to enhance the security environment and promote the rule of law in support of Marine Air Ground Task Force operations.