View Full Version : Unit decommissioned here

03-15-07, 06:00 AM
Unit decommissioned here
The Herald News
March 15, 2007

It's official. Battery B, 1st Battalion, 14th Marines, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserves officially deactivated at a Retirement of One Unit and Stand Up to Another Ceremony on Saturday at its headquarters in Joliet.

According to the decommissioned orders read by Staff Sgt. Jack S. Allen, the unit is now Echo Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion. Its main headquarters, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, is in San Antonio, Texas, under the command of Lt. Col. Mark House.

The ceremony began with all Marines standing in formation while colors were posted by color guards Lance Cpl. Artis Aquino, rifleman; Lance Cpl. Ismael Quintero, rifleman; and Cpl. Jonathan Tantiwongse and Sgt. Wesley Nault carrying colors. Commands were given for presenting and retiring the colors by Master Sgt. Cecil Osborn.

Colors were posted by 1st Sgt. Bob Campbell and, upon completion of the ceremony, colors were retired.

Campbell will retire in May after serving 23 years and seven months of active duty.

The mission of Echo Company is to acquire necessary skill sets to get Marines the training needed to prepare them for combat.

Maj. Matthew Fitchner, the commanding officer, reservist, transferred Monday to the TACC Battle Staff at Great Lakes.

"I've been assigned here at this battalion since 2001, and I've seen a lot of kids come here from high school and have seen them grow and taken them to combat.

Turning over to reconnaissance, I'm happy for them and it should be a great opportunity for them," Fitchner said.

He has served 13 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Maj. Terry P. Wardinsky, inspector instructor, active duty, is the new company commander.

He has 14 years of active-duty service.

"Today, Echo 4th Reconnaissance Battalion will learn to be swift. Today is a moment of history. Be proud of what you have accomplished, and I expect you to continue this effort as we go into reconnaissance," Wardinksky said.

Other battalion past leaders at the ceremony were: Lt. Col. Wayne Harrison and Sgt. Maj. John Bell from Alameda, Calif. They gave a pep talk and motivational speech to the Marines.

During the ceremony, Staff Sgt. Eric Mendosa was awarded a commendation medal for his actions while deployed in Iraq.

Battery B, lst Battalion, 14th Marines, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserves returned in October from a deployment to Iraq.

If there's any Marine out there who would like to take the challenge in becoming a reconnaissance man, contact Wardinsky at (815) 725-7828.

"There's a possible $5,000 to $10,000 bonus offered if you enlist with us," he said.

Know a current or retired soldier who would like to talk about his or her experiences in the U.S. armed forces? Contact Jean Edwards, staff writer, at (815) 729-6049 or at jedwards@scn1.com