Photo Information

Col Matthew G. Trollinger, commanding officer, 11TH Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and Maj Michael N. Estes observe the pass in review during a change of command ceremony on Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 28, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jonathan R. Waldman/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Jonathan Waldman

11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Changes Command

28 Mar 2013 | LCpl. Demetrius Morgan 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The Marine Corps is known for being a traditional branch of service, which prides itself on being able to uphold what Marines have practiced since 1775. One of the distinguishing traditions that the Marine Corps has is the change of command ceremony.

The ceremony marks the occasion where the responsibility and authority of a single unit is transferred from one commander to another.

Maj. Michael N. Estes, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, relinquished his command of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to Col. Matthew G. Trollinger as part of a change of command ceremony here March 28.

Originally slated to be the MEU operations officer, Estes assumed duties as the executive officer and, eventually, the commanding officer of the MEU. As the commanding officer, Estes oversaw daily operations and guided the unit for seven months, an unprecedented tour for a major.

“It was hard to mess up," said Estes. "I was dealt a winning hand with the personnel I was given. The number of accolades that this unit has earned during my time is impressive and there have been some big ones."

Estes will now move back to his original role as the operations officer and will use his experience as a commander to shape his contributions to the unit.

"Thank you Marines,” said Estes. “Again Col. Trollinger, I'd like to report that you’re getting a great unit."

Trollinger arrives at the MEU after a tour as the Military Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Plans, Policy, Oversight and Integration. He assumes command of the MEU during the post-deployment period, leaving ample time to shape the unit for its next deployment.

"Marines and sailors, friends and family thank you all for attending and sharing this moment with me,” said Trollinger. "It’s an exciting time to be a Marine or sailor. It’s an exciting time to be part of a MEU and I look forward to meeting the challenges that lie ahead."

Following the ceremony, personnel in attendance stood to congratulate Trollinger on his new position. Trollinger is now responsible for leading his new Marines into the next training cycle and the next deployment.

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
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Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
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LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
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Sergeant Major DeBarrĀ enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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