Lt. Col. says goodbye to Marines
Posted: Jun 23, 2009 4:43 PM

By Melanie Ruberti - bio | email

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - With pomp and circumstance, it's the end of an era for the Headquarters Squadron at Marine Corp Air Station Beaufort.

After 26 years in the Marine Corp, Lt. Col. CL Lovejoy said goodbye to his marines and the only career he's ever known.

Modest, he was quick to praise his marines.

"This really is a reflection of them," he said glancing around the change of command ceremony. "All I did was stand up here and provide them leadership and guidance and really, that's the easy part. They did a fantastic job, and I'm very proud."

He's also proud of who will be taking his place. Longtime comrade Lt. Col. John Pylant who he's known for more than 20 years.

"He's handed me a world class organization and I'm very proud to step up and be a commander of it," exclaimed Lt. Col. Pylant.

The new commander has no immediate plans to make any changes to the squadron.

"The customer is always right. We listen to the lieutenant's commands that are here, the squadrons that we help deploy. If they have special needs, we're going to address those. It's going to be an honor to serve them in every way," explained Lt. Col. Pylant.

He'll be taking over 27 different departments and more than 700 marines at the Marine Corp Air Station. They have a hand in almost every aspect in the running of the base.

Under a proud, watchful eye, Lt. Col. Pylant assumed command of his new marines.

"Get ready, it's going to be a great ride. We're part of a winning team every day," he exclaimed.

Lt. Col. Lovejoy was also presented with the meritorious service medal at the ceremony. He'll be moving back to Virginia to be with his family.