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Lt. Col. Terry Johnson, (Left) the outgoing commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, passes the battalion colors to Lt. Col. Keven Matthews, (center) the incoming commanding officer of the battalion, during a change of command ceremony at Camp San Mateo parade deck here, June 28, 2013. Matthews, a native of Honolulu, assumed command of the battalion from, Johnson, a native of Palo Pinto, Texas.

Photo by Lance Cpl. James Gulliver

Geronimo battalion welcomes new commanding officer

8 Jul 2013 | Lance Cpl. James Gulliver 1st Marine Division

First Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony, at the Camp San Mateo parade deck here, June 28.

Lieutenant Col. Terry Johnson, relinquished command of 1st Bn. 5th Marines, to Lt. Col. Keven Matthews, the previous attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.

As the new commanding officer of 1st Bn., 5th Marines, Matthews plans to continue the tradition of excellence in the battalion.

“As a new commanding officer of a battalion, you must always look for things to improve. Its hard to find that in such a well run battalion as this one,” said Matthews, a native of Honolulu.

Matthews places a large amount of emphasis on leading by example and making sure that his Marines do the same thing. He wants all of his Marines to set the highest standard both on, and off the battlefield. 

“This battalion carries a strong legacy, so there is a lot of pressure on me and the Marines to uphold its outstanding performance record and continue its heritage,” he said. 

Johnson, a native of Palo Pinto, Texas, will be attending a fellowship at Yale University. He said he is confident passing command of the battalion to Matthews.

“Matthews really developed a good reputation at his previous duty stations. The Marine Corps always does a good job of selecting their commanders, and Matthews is definitely an excellence choice,” Johnson said.

Johnson led his Marines on a deployment as the battalion landing team of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. During the deployment, he led his Marines in multiple training exercises in the Pacific.

“There is a lot of challenges that go into leading a unit on deployment, but my Marines did an excellent job, and we all gained a lot from deploying in support of the MEU,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he will always feel a connection with the Marines and sailors of 1st Bn., 5th Marines, and will always be proud of serving in the battalion.

“I really enjoyed my time here. These Marines are some of the best I have worked with, and I believe Matthews is receiving an excellent battalion and will do his best to take the Marines to new heights of excellence,” Johnson said.

Matthews said he is looking forward to working with the Marines on future deployments, and will always strive to uphold the standards set down by Johnson.

“Johnson has really developed a strong and disciplined unit, and I could not ask for a better group of Marines to go to combat with,” Matthews said.
1st Marine Division