MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- The Fighting Fifth welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony at the Camp San Mateo helicopter landing pad here, June 25.
Colonel Roger B. Turner relinquished command of 5th Marine Regiment to Col. Jason Q. Bohm, the previous Director of the Marine Corps Liaison Office in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As the new commanding officer of 5th Marines, Bohm said he wants to maintain the same “brilliance in the basics” mentality established by Turner, keeping the Marines ready to fight at all times.
“We have to be the best at shooting, moving and communicating and being the most ready when the nation is least ready,” said Bohm, a native of Oyster Bay, N.Y.
Bohm said he plans to emphasize leading by example and balanced excellence. He wants all Marines in the regiment to set a good example with everything they do and say, and he wants his Marines to continue to maintain high ethical and moral standards.
“You can’t be a ‘break glass in time of war’ Marine,” Bohm said. “The Marines have done extraordinarily well in combat over the last 12 years, but what we’ve fallen short on is we haven’t given time back to [staff noncommissioned officer and officers] to be able to develop the character of their Marines. We need to instill in the Marines that you can’t just be good in combat. You have to be good in all areas.”
Turner is slated to serve as the Military Secretary to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. He said he is confident passing on the regiment to Bohm.
“He doesn’t need much advice from me,” said Turner, a native of Laurel, Md. “He’s got a great background. He’s got all the education and combat experience he needs. He knows what he needs to do to take the regiment forward.”
Turner led the regiment during a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan as Regimental Combat Team 5 during his tenure as commanding officer. RCT-5 conducted combat operations in Nawa, Marjah, Garmsir and Khan-Neshin districts in southern Helmand province from August 2011 to August 2012.
Turner said commanding the regiment was an incredible honor and the highlight of his career.
“I cherished every day as commander, and I really appreciate the energy that the Marines of this regiment have given, both in Afghanistan and other places over the last couple years,”
Turner said. “The fights that these battalions and our regiment have been in are the stuff of legends. I’m in awe of these guys and what they’ve accomplished. They’re truly brilliant warriors, and it’ just been an honor to serve alongside them.”