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Major Gen. Daniel J. O’Donohue (right), the new commanding general of 1st Marine Division, hands the unit’s colors to Sgt. Maj. William T. Sowers (left), division’s sergeant major, during the change of command ceremony in which Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo passed command to O’Donohue aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 10, 2015. O’Donohue is taking command of the division after recently commanding Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Bobbie A. Curtis)

Photo by Staff Sgt. Bobbie Curtis

Maj. Gen. O’Donohue takes command of Blue Diamond

10 Sep 2015 | Staff Sgt. Bobbie Curtis 1st Marine Division

Brigadier Gen. Daniel D. Yoo passed command of the 1st Marine Division to Maj. Gen. Daniel J. O’ Donohue at a ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Sept. 10, 2015.

The ceremony was held at 1st Marine Division Headquarters Building where two platoons of Marines conducted a traditional parade formation in the presence of many division staff members, commanders and other distinguished guests.

Yoo was serving as the Blue Diamond’s assistant division commander commanding general when he took command from now Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, July 30. Nicholson now commands III Marine Expeditionary Force, in Okinawa, Japan.

“I leave with a lot of pride and a lot of sadness from being in such a historical organization,” Yoo said. “All the Marines know what I’m talking about and that will always be in my heart.”

He explained that he began his career at 1st Mar. Div. as a second lieutenant for his first assignment and that he was honored to have commanded the storied unit. “It’s something I will cherish,” he added. “I’m proud of all the commanders and what they do on a daily basis.”

Yoo is slated to join the staff of U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida.

O’ Donohue is taking command of the oldest, largest and most decorated division in the U. S. Marine Corps. It is comprised of approximately 23,000 Marines and Sailors who make up its four combat ready regiments and seven independent battalions and currently has Marines and Sailors deployed in 15 different countries.

O’ Donohue’s history with the division started well before he took the reigns as the commanding general. He has commanded other units including 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines and 1st Marine Regiment and also served as the Blue Diamond’s operations officer.

“It’s an honor to join the magnificent Marines and Sailors of the 1st Marine Division and to replace two combat leaders such as General Nicholson and now General Yoo,” O’ Donohue said.

O’ Donohue is coming to the division after a tour as the commanding general of Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command.

During the ceremony in which he relinquished command of MARFORCYBER, he stated “2015 will be a critical year for MARFORCYBER as we take maturing capabilities and integrate them into the combined arms and maneuver with the [Marine Air Ground Task Force].”

Taking over the division will allow him the opportunity to see his previous command’s efforts applied to the infantry focused division and gives him a unique insight to what new capabilities are slated to improve the Corp’s oldest division.
During his remarks to the crowd, he took time to thank Yoo for his service as the commanding general of the division and paid tribute to the legacy Yoo left as the commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), and the last commander in southwestern Afghanistan.

“In the essence of combat command, it has been a personal and professional pleasure to turnover here,” O’Donohue stated.

The division continues to train and prepare its units for deployments and stands ready as the ground combat element for I Marine Expeditionary Force, the Marine Corps’ most robust and mission capable Marine Air-Ground Task Force.