4th Marine Corps District hosts change of command
By Cpl. Nicholas S. Ranum
| 4th Marine Corps District | July 11, 2014
New Cumberland, Pa --
Col. Terence D. Trenchard relinquished command of the 4th Marine Corps District to Col. John A. Bolt during a change of command ceremony at the Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna in New Cumberland, Pa., July 10.
A change of command ceremony is used when one commanding officer is due to be replaced by another. The orders telling the two Marine officers when one is relieved of command and when the other assumes command are read aloud to the Marines, guests and family members at the ceremony, letting them know the exact date and time the change took effect.
Trenchard, a Hartford, Connecticut native, was commissioned in 1989 after graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Upon completion of training he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. While there he served as a forward observer, platoon commander and then the adjutant.
In 1993, Trenchard reported to Recruiting Station Jacksonville, Florida, where he was the operations officer and subsequently the executive officer for the station.
“When (Trenchard) was the operations officer and the executive officer, he began learning what it really means to be a recruiter and to run a district successfully,” said Brig. Gen. Terry V. Williams, the commanding general of the Eastern Recruiting Region and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.
He returned to the operating forces in 1996 and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines as a logistics officer and a battery commander.
The year 1999 saw Trenchard return to recruiting duty as the commanding officer of RS Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, until 2002.
In the subsequent years he served in III MEF, Manpower Management Enlisted Assignments Branch, 1st Marine Division and also spent time commanding the 27th Iraqi Army Brigade Military Transition Team. In 2011 Trenchard assumed command of 4th Marine Corps District.
Upon the relinquishing of his command, Trenchard was awarded the Legion of Merit.
According to the award citation, during his tour, the district achieved 100 percent of its enlisted shipping mission, 100.4 percent of its enlisted contracting mission and had 422 second lieutenants commissioned. He also led the way for approximately $686,000 to be saved due to vehicle fleet reduction and approximately $885,000 in telecommunication costs saved.
“If you look at what he did; all the command leadership roles, his experience with recruiting, it was pretty obvious he was the man to move out and become a district commander where he was successful,” said Williams. “He made mission and exceeded mission every year.”
Col. Bolt, a Mount Dora, Florida native, graduated from the U.S. Naval academy in 1991 and was selected for F/A-18 pilot training in 1994. Upon completion of that training he reported to Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 244.
In 1998 Bolt reported to MCRD Parris Island where he served as a series commander, company commander and executive officer.
“While serving as a series commander, Bolt learned what we are looking for when recruits come through recruit training,” said Williams.
He returned to VMFA(AW)-224 in 1998, which subsequently deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan and served aboard the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
In 2002 Bolt was instructed to attend the Marine Corps Command and Staff College where he was an individual augment to the Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.
2003 saw Bolt assume command of RS Jacksonville, Fla., where he served until 2006 when he returned to Marine Aircraft Group 31 and served various deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Col. Bolt assumed command of VMFA-122 in 2009 and led the squadron on a successful deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of NATO forces.
Bolt comes to the district from Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO where he served as the J3 Air Fires Officer and the Joint Targeting and Effects Branch Head.
“He has all the skill sets he needs to be successful in his tour as the 4th MCD district commander,” said Williams. “I would only pass two things. One is to make mission and the other is to have fun.”
The ceremony also allowed for thanks and well wishes to be given by the outgoing commander.
“First of all this is really a time for me to say thanks to everybody,” said Trenchard. “With all of the invitations that I sent, I just wanted everyone to know that I appreciated the part that they have played in my career. Being at the right place at the right time has a lot to do with what you accomplish in your career.”
Advice was also given by the outgoing commander to Bolt.
“The human dimension and working through all of the challenges associated with recruiting, fundamentally makes the tour more challenging but yet also so rewarding,” said Trenchard. “There is a lot of work going into that. It is very bittersweet. Because of the relationships I built it is very difficult to leave.”
Trenchard will now go on to become the operations officer at Marine Corps Recruiting Command.