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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

New hands take charge of Blue Diamond

By Lance Cpl. Jerry Murphy | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | May 24, 2007

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Maj. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr. stands by to relinquish command of the 1st Marine Division to Brig. Gen. Richard P. Mills in a ceremony May 22. Paxton served as the 1st Marine Division's Commanding General beginning August 2006.

Maj. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr. stands by to relinquish command of the 1st Marine Division to Brig. Gen. Richard P. Mills in a ceremony May 22. Paxton served as the 1st Marine Division's Commanding General beginning August 2006. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Jerry Murphy)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Maj. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr. relinquished command of the 1st Marine Division to Brig. Gen. Richard P. Mills in a ceremony here May 22.

Paxton served as 1st Marine Division's Commanding General beginning August 2006. He will serve as the Chief of Staff to the commander of Multi-National Force - Iraq.

"It has been my honor and privilege that three times in my career I was able to be a member of this division," Paxton said. "I leave here with sadness, but walk away with a whole lot of pride to have served once again with these Marines.

There is only one thing better than being a Marine," Paxton continued. "It's being a Marine with the 1st Marine Division."

Paxton concluded his speech with a few words on the incoming Commanding General.

"There isn't a finer officer to lead this division," he said. "As said in baseball terminology, they traded up."

In addition to Paxton's comments, Mills added a few of his own.

"It's an honor to be taking over command, even if only for a short time, of the Blue Diamond," Mills said. "Gen. Paxton will be missed. He is a wonderful leader and a wonderful officer."

What Paxton has done here in the last 10 months has improved the division, and he will continue to make the Marine Corps better wherever he may be, Mills added.


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