Barnes takes command of Henderson Hall's H&S BN-HQMC
July 10, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - The Headquarters & Service Battalion Headquarters Marine Corps Henderson Hall said farewell to one family member and welcomed a new one July 9.
In a Henderson Hall Change of Command Ceremony, Col. Anthony S. Barnes took control of H&S BN-HQMC affairs from the outgoing Col. Ira M. Cheatham. Cheatham served as commanding officer on the Marine portion of Headquarters & Service Battalion Headquarters Marine Corps Henderson Hall since July 2011.
At the ceremony were Lt. Gen. Willie J. Williams, director of Marine Corps Staff; Lt. Col. Jennifer Blair, JBM-HH deputy commander and JBM-HH Command Sgt. Major Earlene Lavender.
Before his retirement ceremony, which was held July 10, Williams made remarks to the outgoing and incoming commanders, their families and a group of guests and Marines after the passing of the colors during a drizzly 40-minute ceremony at the battalion headquarters grounds.
"This is an opportunity to say thanks to Ira and Krista [Cheatham's wife] for their work within the battalion," Williams said. "A couple years ago, we had him over to Quarters 2 when he first came aboard, and at that time, Ira said he could never imagine just what he was getting into. He was taking command during a time that was the most difficult periods that I can think of. We were just coming into BRAC [Defense Base Closure and Realignment], and we were converting from a Marine barracks to a joint base.
"You executed this mission to a tee," the general said to Cheatham.
"Ira is one of the most fiercely dedicated Marines and commanders I've worked with in a long time. He sets his minds to things, and he knows what he's doing is right, and he sticks to his principles, and that's one of the things that impressed me."
Following the general's remarks, Cheatham acknowledged and thanked his families - his immediate one and his battalion colleagues.
"The Marine Corps does everything in threes. In the Marine Corps, we have three types of Families," Cheatham said during his 11-minute talk.
"There's the one you are born into ... there's the family you marry into ... and then there's the family you join when you raise your right hand and you solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. That includes my civilian forces - maybe you didn't raise your hands - but you stood side-by-side with me whether you're a civilian Marine or a contractor."
While he addressed Barnes, Cheatham mentioned that he anticipated superior command from his successor.
"You're walking into a great, great command," Cheatham told Barnes in front of a crowd of 300. "I expect you to do better than what I've done. Because nobody takes it [command] and stays status quo."
Barnes was the final Marine to speak and promised to continue to serve the 1,700 Marines under his new command.
"I'm really looking forward to taking over here," he said. "It says service here [pointing to a decorative Marine floor mat used in the ceremony] and that's what I expect it to be - world class service. It will be an honor to serve the Marines, Sailors and families and civilian Marines. I'm looking forward to getting it done."
Barnes resides in Arlington with his wife, Liz, and the couple have two sons, Mitch and Matt. The new Henderson Hall commander is originally from Pensacola, Fla. He joined the Marines in 1990, and his deployments include noncombatant evacuations in Liberia, Central Africa Republic, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has additionally supported operations in Kosovo, Turkey and Iraq.
His personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal with numeral 4, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star and the Navy and marine Corps Achievement Medal. He received his Wings of Gold at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1992.
During the ceremony, Cheatham was recognized for improving the quality of life and morale for over 1,700 Marines on his two-year watch. Cheatham was also cited during the presentation of the Legion of Merit Gold Star medal for "providing outstanding support through the senior Marine leadership ... and continued the transition of Henderson Hall from a Marine Corps installation to a joint base" and his leadership to the Marine Corps community services and providing barracks improvements.
Cheatham now has been stationed to Marine Corps Cyberspace Command at Fort Meade, Md.