FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood’s Marines said farewell to Col. Charles Long and welcomed Col. Scottie Redden, who took command of the Marine Corps Detachment here in a change-of-command ceremony July 22 on Gammon Field.
The reviewing officer for the ceremony was Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general.
Bonner said Long is leaving Fort Leonard Wood and the Marine Corps better than he found them.
“In the past two years, he has made a tremendous difference during his time as the commander of the Marine Corps Detachment,” Bonner said. “He led, developed and supported his command teams and cadre to train over 10,000 Marines across four technical fields to the highest standard. I appreciated his presence and tremendous contributions in every battle rhythm event and appreciated his willingness to support a variety of garrison missions.”
Long, who is retiring after more than 38 years of service to the country, “will always be part of team Leonard Wood,” Bonner added.
“We are all very honored to have served with you,” Bonner said. “We wish you the very best in your retirement.”
Long thanked his command team and the Fort Leonard Wood community for their support throughout the past two years. He also thanked the Marines who helped shape him into a leader over the course of his career.
“You are one of the reasons I’ve stayed all of these years — because I’ve gotten to serve with the heroes of our nation,” he said.
Long pointed out that one out of every seven enlisted Marines trains at Fort Leonard Wood.
“More importantly, we help develop the future leaders of the Marine Corps,” he said.
To Redden, Long offered his congratulations on taking command of the largest Marine Corps unit not located on a Marine Corps installation.
“I wish you the best of luck with all your future endeavors,” he said. “I trust that you will take care of this command.”
Redden comes to Fort Leonard Wood from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he served as 2d Marine Division assistant chief of staff for supply and logistics. He said he is honored to take command of Fort Leonard Wood’s Marines, adding that he has seen firsthand the talent produced here.
“I very much looked forward to … having a hand in the development of our equipment operators, maintainers and technicians, military police, corrections officers, motor transport operators, (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) specialists, and non-lethal weapons instructors,” he said. “I look forward to learning about the unique capabilities inherent in those specialties.”
This is Redden’s first assignment in the Midwest, and he said he looks forward to taking advantage of all that Missouri has to offer.
“I’ve found the people assigned here become quite attached to the area, so I expect it will be the same for me and my family,” he said.
Redden also thanked Long for his service and warm welcome to Fort Leonard Wood.
“In my short time here, I’m quite impressed with the quality of the Marines, the passion of the leadership, the pride and the work ethic of all associated with the Marines of the Ozarks,” he said. “No doubt they are a reflection of your leadership.”