Commanding Headquarters and Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall for little under two years, Col. Roarke L. Anderson relinquished his command to Col. Ira M. Cheatham aboard Henderson Hall on July 14. Lt. Gen. Willie J. Williams, Director of Marine Corps Staff, officiated the ceremony attended by the Headquarters Company Battalion, Family and friends.
Lt. Gen. Williams shared his appreciation and respect for the challenges Anderson met while at Henderson Hall, such as the integration of Fort Myer and Henderson Hall to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, the renovation of the Marine Corps Exchange and the dedication of the Zembiec Pool.
"Once I got here, right away I knew this was going to be a fun tour. Not only the Marines, but also the civilian Marines, MCCS, Family Services, the Exchange, folks over at the gym and the pool are all super people. Then the Marines you get to work with are not only here at Henderson Hall proper, but also the Marines at the Annex, the Pentagon and the 150 other locations," said Anderson.
"This is one of my best, if not the best tour I've had in 35 years. If I can't be in the war, then there is no better place I'd rather be then here," said the outgoing commander.
Williams welcomed Col. Ira M. Cheatham and his Family and friends.
"I'm excited about taking over H & S Battalion," said Cheatham. "I feel that it's the home for everybody at the Pentagon, Annex and 8th & I National Capital Region. I want to make sure our Marines understand that they still have a Marine Corps home here at H & S. You work over there, but this is still home. Come back and reenergize and visit us."
Prior to accepting the H & S command, Cheatham was at C-4 Headquarters Marine Corps Command and Control section. Cheatham worked on the next generation engine network.
“[It's] how we transition the NMCI network back into the Marine Corps, so it is government owned and operated,” said Cheatham. "Before that, I was in Afghanistan with the G-6 for a year supporting Major General Nicholson."
When asked what his hobbies or special interests are, Cheatham said sports and his two girls. One daughter is seven years old and the other will be nine in July.
"I love playing racquetball, basketball, any type of sports," Cheatham said. "I think playing team sports allows you to get to know someone. You know the sport, so you get to know the person " what makes them mad, what happens when they get tired " similar to what occurs in a combat stress environment " you get out of a sport." At the close of the ceremony "The President's Own" the United States Marine Chamber Ensemble performed the Marine Hymn.