By Sgt. Melissa Karnath, Defense Media Activity
General Robert Neller received the battle colors of the Marine Corps from Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. during a passage of command ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington, Sept. 24, 2015, signifying his new position as the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Neller, an East Lansing, Michigan, native and 40-year Marine veteran, assumes responsibility as the senior ranking officer of the Corps.
"I am honored, proud and humbled to be here," Neller said. "I appreciate your support. Now let's go do this."
During the ceremony, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter spoke highly of Neller and his ability to lead the Marine Corps and spoke about his "greatest trait" — his love for the troops.
"They light up when he's talking to them, and he lights up too," Carter said.
Dunford, a Boston native, relinquished command of the Marine Corps after serving in the top post for less than a year.
"In his short but significant tenure, Gen. Dunford guided the Marine Corps during the final drawdown in Afghanistan, and maintained the Corps as the most formidable expeditionary fighting force that has ever existed," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "He kept it ready to respond to any crisis throughout the globe in spite of budget constraints, threat of sequestration and the impact of continuing resolutions."
During his time as the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Dunford moved forward to meet challenges with his planning guidance stressing innovation, adaption and winning America’s battles.
"I feel fortunate because a few minutes ago Gen. Neller became my commandant," said Dunford. "Just like all the other Marines and sailors, I have the good fortune to have a leader who's passionate, has extraordinary operational capability, and he has extraordinary energy and vision to take us into the future. We couldn't be in better hands."
Dunford will assume his new position as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sept. 25, 2015.