The commanding general of Marine Corps Installations-West and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, hosted the Evening Colors Ceremony at the historical Santa Margarita Ranch House, Aug. 28.
The ceremony was held to celebrate Camp Pendleton’s 70 year history and to recognize leaders from the surrounding communities, while showing appreciation for their continued support since the establishment of the base in 1942.
“The rich heritage of Camp Pendleton’s founders and the continued support of families and community leaders have all contributed to the success of our Marine Corps’ training missions at Camp Pendleton for the last 70 years,” Coglianese said.
There were nearly 190 military members and civilians in attendance.
“This includes the mayor and deputy mayor of Oceanside, the director of veteran affairs, council members, chamber of commerce members, superindent’s, school administrators, and other distinguished guests and military members,” said MSgt. Terence Seymour, the admin chief and protocol assistant for MCI-West and MCB Camp Pendleton.
The Mayor of Oceanside, Jim Wood, shared his thoughts about Camp Pendleton and his experiences with the colors ceremony over the years.
“I’ve been to several of these Evening Colors Ceremonies and I always enjoy them,” said Wood. “I get to talk to some old friends and it’s always a good time, it’s a great opportunity to spend time with my wonderful neighbors up north at Camp Pendleton.”
Many of the workers and families who came to build Camp Pendleton stayed in the city of Oceanside after its completion, and the Marines crowded the city once the base was opened.
“It took thousands of workers and families to build Camp Pendleton in the 1940s,” said Coglianese.
Named for Maj. Gen. Joseph Henry Pendleton, a Marine who advocated the institution of a West Coast Marine Corps training base; the Marine Corps considered the land surrounding the city of Oceanside especially desirable because of its varied terrain of hills, valleys, streams, canyons and nearly 18 miles of coastline.
“Because of its strategic location, Camp Pendleton has become the Marine Corps' chief training installation during several wars and conflicts such as World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Shield and Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom,“ Coglianese said.
Currently there are about 12,400 Marines deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and 4,700 of them are from Camp Pendleton, specifically.
“Camp Pendleton has a proud tradition of training top-quality Marines and maintaining its combat readiness. Today’s Marine Expeditionary Force demonstrates the effectiveness of the air-ground team through the combination of infantry, armor, supply and air power according to the mission requirements,” said Coglianese. “The rapid deployment of this Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) has been clearly shown when Camp Pendleton forces and their equipment can be deployed halfway around the globe in a matter of weeks.”
Through many years, and various wars, Camp Pendleton’s surrounding communities have shown support and contributions in various facets of the military lifestyle and ambitions.
“As we continue to be an expeditionary force in readiness, we must not lose sight of why our community is so important to the Marines Corps’ mission,” said Coglianese. “It is through the strengths and contributions of our families and community leaders that our team succeeds. Our base was built by hardworking civilian and military members and we continue to train our Nation’s finest aboard the Corps’ largest West Coast expeditionary training facility.”