CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Major Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson relinquished his position as the commanding general of the 1st Marine Division to Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, formerly the assistant division commander, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, July 30, 2015.
The ceremony took place at the 1st Marine Division Headquarters Building, commonly known as the White House, in front of a large audience of Nicholson’s fellow Marines, Sailors, and many other friends and distinguished guests.
Nicholson explained why the ceremony was smaller than a usual change of command, utilizing only two platoons of Marines instead of an entire parade. He described how the division is constantly training and is extremely busy accomplishing its mission around the world and that the smaller ceremony was also more intimate.
After a unique performance by the 1st Marine Division Band and the marching on of the troops, Nicholson passed the division colors to Yoo by Sgt. Maj. William T. Sowers, the division sergeant major, representing the transition of responsibilities to the new commanding general.
As Nicholson spoke about his time at the division, he thanked his fellow Marines, Sailors and family for supporting him and spoke of several memories he had with the guests who attended the ceremony.
Having called the 1st Marine Division his home for a great period of his career, Nicholson said it was going to be tough hearing the division song, "Waltzing Matilda," and saying goodbye.
When it was Yoo’s time to speak, his first action was to approach Nicholson and thank him for his leadership while at the division.
“Thank you very much on behalf of the entire division,” said Yoo. “For your truly genuine and unique style of leadership, you’ve touched the lives of every single person in this community.”
After speaking to Nicholson, Yoo turned to address the service members standing in formation.
“To all the Marines and Sailors of the division here; thank you for a memorable ceremony,” Yoo said speaking to the men and women, “I could think of no better way to say goodbye and I look forward to continuing to serve with you.”
Major Gen. Nicholson will take command of the III Marine Expeditionary Force aboard Okinawa, Japan, next month.