By T. Anthony BellJune 4, 2018
FORT LEE, Va. (June 4, 2018) -- Hailing from Chicago and once a member of her service's enlisted ranks, Lt. Col. Morina D. Foster is now the commanding officer of Marine Corps Detachment Fort Lee.
Coming to the Sustainment Center of Excellence from a previous assignment at the Pentagon, Foster replaced Lt. Col. Johnny G. Garza with the usual change of command formalities June 1 at Whittington Field on the Ordnance Campus.
As commanding officer, Foster will direct a 150-member detachment with a mission to support the training requirements of Marines as they undergo schoolhouse instruction in specialties such as small arms repair, vehicle repair, ammunition handling, food service and mortuary affairs. About 2,500 Marines undergo training here each year.
In remarks, the Marine of 30 years thanked all who supported her and said she looks forward to her new position, but deferred the event's spotlight to the outgoing commanding officer.
"Thank you for sharing this moment with me, but I'd be remiss to say this day is not about me," she observed. "This day is about Lt. Col. Johnny Garza. "
He arrived here in June 2016. What he accomplished since then, he acknowledged in his abbreviated comments, is attributable to the Fort Lee leadership, the 59th Ordnance and 23rd Quartermaster brigades and all the Marines who were "locked into mission accomplishment" during his tenure.
"It's been an interesting couple of years. I appreciate all the support that has been given to me and the guidance provided by the Weapons Training Battalion," he said.
The Weapons Training Battalion, Training Command, is MCD Fort Lee's support resource.
Garza, also a former enlisted Marine, has 28 years of service and has served in such locales as Kuwait, Liberia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
Foster's background is equally impressive. The former drill instructor has spent time at Cherry Point, N.C.; Quantico; Parris Island, S.C.; 29 Palms, Calif.; and Okinawa, Japan. Foster's awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and MSM. She comes to Fort Lee from a previous assignment with Marine Installations Command, GF-4, in Arlington.