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Lieutenant Col. William Blanchard, the new 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion commanding officer, and Lt. Col. Howard F. Hall, the former battalion commander, salute Marines and sailors during a pass in review during a post and relief ceremony here, May 31, 2013. Blanchard, a native of Neptune, N.J., and Hall, a native of Schuylkill Haven, Pa., spent time preparing for turnover by visiting Marines throughout the battalion.

Photo by Cpl. Robert Reeves

3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion receives new commander

4 Jun 2013 | Cpl. Robert Reeves

Marines with 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion received a new commander during a change of command ceremony here, May 31. 
       
Lieutenant Col. Howard F. Hall, who commanded the battalion since June 16, 2011, relinquished his command to Lt. Col. William Blanchard, a native of Neptune, N.J.
       
Blanchard is coming from Marine Corps Forces Pacific, Camp Smith, Hawaii, where he served as a current operations officer. He said he plans to maintain the same standards that were implemented by Hall.   
       
“My family and I we are here to serve these Marines,” Blanchard said. “I will continue to lead the battalion in the direction it needs to go be successful and relevant for the Marine Corps. This unit has a service defining capability and we need to make sure that we are ready at all times to answer whatever call is out there for AAV (amphibious assault vehicle) support. ”
       
The two officers have worked together in the past and Hall is confident in Blanchard’s ability to lead the battalion. 
        
“Focused dedication and disciplined, is how I would describe Lt. Col. Blanchard,” said Hall, a native of Schuylkill Haven, Pa. “He’ll combine those and bring that same dedication and discipline here to the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion and carry on the momentum that we have created over the last two years.”
       
Hall will now head to the National War College in Washington where he will work toward his master’s degree in Military Science. 
       
As commanding officer, Hall oversaw the deployment of his battalion on Marine Expeditionary Units and to Okinawa, Japan and Helmand province, Afghanistan. He has also been extremely proactive with the battalion’s family readiness program, making sure the families of his Marines and sailors have been taken care of and looked after.
       
“I am here to serve 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion,” Blanchard said. “Through deployments, and hardships, me and my family will pick up and maintain the standard my predecessor has left with me.”