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Passing of Corps; Dunford becomes 36th Commandant

By Cpl. Dylan Bowyer | | October 22, 2014

Gen. James F. Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, relinquished command of the Marine Corps to Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Oct. 17 at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.

The ceremony started with musical performances from “The Commandant’s Own,” The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and “The President's Own,” United States Marine Band. The ceremonial companies of the Barracks marched onto the parade deck and fixed their bayonets.

Amos and Dunford were then called to their positions on the parade deck. The battle colors were passed from Amos to Dunford signifying the passing of command and responsibility.

“My focus in the coming years will be to take care of our Marines and their families, and to ensure our Corps remains an expeditionary force of readiness our nation has come to expect,” said Dunford.

Dunford received his commission as an infantry officer in 1977, a career leading to billets such as company and regimental commander, senior aide to the commandant and assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.

“I got to know Joe Dunford quite well the last 20 months,” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said. “I have come to rely on his wise judgment—The President of the United States trusts his judgment.”

Amos is retiring after 44 years of service across two branches. Starting as a naval aviator, he crossed the flight deck to fly for the Marines. He served as the II Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps and served as the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps for four years.

“(Amos’) lasting legacy will be the Marine Corps' new traditions firmly rooted, leaving behind a Corps that is stronger than ever before,” said Hagel.

Some of the attendants of the event included the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, previous commandants and military leaders from all U.S. military branches and allied nations.

“This morning I’m not as proud to be the commandant as I am simply to wear the cloth of a United States Marine,” Dunford said. “I can say all of this, in large part, is due to the leadership of our 35th commandant.”