Photo Information

Maj. John M. Hunt takes the organization colors from Sgt, Maj. Adam E. Fraser, recruiting station sergeant major, during the Change of Command ceremony at Heinz Field, June 13. Hunt would go on to pass the colors to the incoming commanding officer symbolizing the relinquishing of command.

Photo by Cpl. Pedro Cardenas

Recruiting Station Pittsburgh welcomes new commander

17 Jun 2014 | Cpl. Pedro Cardenas 1st Marine Corps District

Marine Corps Recruiting Station Pittsburgh welcomed its new commander, Maj. Frank P. Mease Jr., who took command from Maj. John M. Hunt during a change of command ceremony at Heinz Field, June 13.

The new commander, Mease, completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2002. Mease enlisted and had served in the Corps since 1991 as an infantryman prior to being selected for the Meritorious Commissioning Program.

Mease has been assigned to numerous duties including as a team and squad leader for the Presidential Helicopter Squadron, as a drill instructor and as a rifle platoon commander.

Mease had little to say because according to him, a mentor once told him that during change of command ceremonies he needed to, “be brilliant, be bold and be done.”

Mease said he will continue with his mission of recruiting and making quality Marines.

“Sir, Col. Dill, I thank you for the opportunity to lead these Marines. I’m excited and looking forward to it,” said Mease.

He then turned to the Marines and said, “Marines, I’m honored to be a part of this team and I look forward to learning what you do on a daily basis and sharing the hardship.”

The change of command ceremony was marked by the traditional passing of the colors. The passing of a unit’s organization colors is representative of the transfer of command from the outgoing to the incoming commander.

 The senior enlisted Marine takes the colors and gives it to the out-going commanding officer, Hunt, who then passed it to the new commanding officer, Mease; officially transferring duties and responsibilities as commander.

Hunt was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 15 Dec. 2000. Some of his duties as a Marine Corps officer have included being nominated and selected to serve as the Aide-de-Camp, MARSOC. Hunt also served as commanding officer for Company L, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.

Hunt commanded RS Pittsburgh from June, 2011 to June 2014. Under his command, RS Pittsburgh became a high achieving recruiting station winning a multitude of awards for excellence.

“To find the best (recruits), we need our finest officers to be recruiting station commanders,” said Col. J. J. Dill, commanding officer, 1st Marine Corps District. “For three years, Maj. Hunt figured out that a proactive positive leadership approach and getting the Marines behind him to believe that they could do it (recruit their assigned mission). His team has forever changed this station and they have set it up for continued success.”

During Hunt’s command of RS Pittsburgh, the station managed to continually meet recruiting missions.

 “John not only have you made yourself successful but, you did it with your Marines and for your Marines,” said Dill. “They are at a better command because of your presence.”

 Hunt expressed his gratitude to the Marines in his charge and left in a bitter-sweet ceremony as he looked forward to his next assignment, but thanked the Marines for the hard work they put in for him.

 “Marines, I just want to tell you thank you,” said Hunt. “Thank you for the last three years. I couldn’t have done it without you. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate everything you did for me.”