MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Col. Matthew G. Trollinger, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, relinquished his command of the MEU in the ceremonial passing of the colors to Col. Clay C. Tipton as part of a change of command ceremony here July 17.
As part of a longstanding tradition in the Marine Corps, a change of command ceremony is conducted to formally transfer authority and responsibility from one commander to the next.
With over 2,400 Marines and Sailors, the 11th MEU served a seven month deployment along with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, participating in multiple exercises with regional host nations in the Western Pacific, Middle East and Horn of Africa regions. The unit served as a reserve force supporting contingency operations while also supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
As the Commanding Officer, Trollinger oversaw all operations and guided the unit during its pre-deployment training and throughout the entirety of its deployment.
“This has been a fantastic experience for me and my family," said Trollinger. "I’m extremely thankful to have commanded the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. I’ve been surrounded by awesome individuals; individuals who allowed this MEU to do what it is we’ve been able to do."
Trollinger will now move on as the chief of staff of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
"Col. Tipton, you are the right man here at the right time for this job,” said Trollinger. “I’m going to be so happy watching you take this MEU forward and continue the great reputation of the Pride of the Pacific."
Tipton arrives at the MEU after a tour at USSOCOM where he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He assumes command of the MEU during the post-deployment period and will begin the process of preparing the unit for its next deployment.
"This is a day to celebrate the success of the unit under Col. Trollinger’s leadership,” said Tipton. "I look forward to building our blue and green team so that we can conduct effective missions from the sea. There’s going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears over the next year, which will help form that razor sharp knife.”
Following the ceremony, personnel in attendance stood to congratulate Tipton on his new position and joined Marines, Sailors, family and friends at a reception.