3rd LAR gets new pack leader

Photo by Diane Durden

Incoming commander for 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Lt. Col. Mark Clingan, tells his Marines and sailors he looks forward to making a difference with them during a change of command ceremony held at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field June 17.

Diane Durden

Public Affairs Specialist

The six companies that comprise the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Wolfpack, accompanied by the mounted color guard, aligned themselves on the Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field to welcome Lt. Col. Mark Clingan as the new leader of the pack June 17.

“I am very honored to stand in front of you today as the newest member of the Wolfpack,” said Clingan, the newly-assigned battalion commander, who was previously assigned as the G-3, Current Operations Officer for the Division (Forward), for 1st Marine Division. “We are all drawn to the Marine Corps because we want to go out and make a difference, I look forward to making a difference with you all.

“Every Marine makes a difference as the motto of the battalion states,” he said. “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

The Marines and sailors were also gathered to say farewell to another leader.

“Rich in history,” “steep in tradition” and “very proud of heritage” are just a few of the phrases Lt. Col. Kenneth Kassner, the outgoing battalion commander, used to describe the unit as he summed up his time spent as their commander.

“[It’s been] a distinct honor and privilege to stand in the ranks with these men,” said Kassner, who is leaving the Combat Center to attend classes at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

With the battalion being the last of the mounted cavalry, a mounted color guard seemed a significant inclusion in the ceremony, said Sgt. Maj. John Elliott, the pack’s sergeant major.

The mounted color guard, based at Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., is the only remaining such unit within the Marine Corps.

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