Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
Marine Corps Base Quantico’s Marine Corps Air Facility (MCAF)—the Cradle of Marine Corps Aviation—held their change of command ceremony July 6 in which Commander Lt. Col. William Pacatte III passed command on to Lt. Col. Daniel Murphy.
As Pacatte relinquished his command, he gazed into the crowd and saw many familiar faces, many of whom he believed made his tenure a success.
“If I could describe the past two years in one word, it would be humbling,” Pacatte said recognizing the many achievements his units had accomplished. “I couldn’t have done any of this without you, but you could have done it without me.”
According to Pacatte, because MCAF worked as one unified unit—no blue side or green side—the atmosphere aboard the air facility was that of a well-oiled machine of teamwork and camaraderie.
When Pacatte first took command he was told to cherish these fleeting moments because as soon as he had it, it would be gone.
“It was an extremely rewarding two years filled with many challenges, amazing experiences and many successes,” Pacatte said. “I knew when I first stood here two years ago I would be held accountable for every success and failure, but I stand tall today knowing there was no failure and much success.”
Col. Joseph Murray, Marine Corps Installations National Capital Region-Marine Corps Base Quantico commander, spoke to the crowd about the significance of the role of MCAF.
MCAF was established to operate and maintain the facilities and provide services and materiel to support the operations of tenant command, Marine Helicopter Squadron 1 (HMX-1), and other transient aircraft as required.
“Today is a great day,” Murray said. “Today we celebrate a true command team, as we see one great Marine and leader move on and another assume his place.”
According to Murray, he believes Murphy is well prepared for the position and is eager to welcome him into the Quantico family.
But, it was Murphy who truly spoke on the importance of family and sacrifice.
As Murphy stood tall amongst his wife, sons and daughter he expressed his gratitude for their diligence in supporting his role as a United States Marine and accompanying him into the next phase of his career.
“I am excited to be here, to be a part of the MCAF family and to help continue the success that the Marines of MCAF have achieved,” Murphy said.
Murphy attended Officer Candidate School Platoon Leaders class in 1998 and 1999. He also completed The Basic School in 2001 as an Honor Graduate.
Murphy holds a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Management Engineering from Worchester Polytechnic Institute and a masters of arts in Operational Studies from Marine Corps University, School of Advanced Warfighting.
Awards earned include a Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal Individual Action and Navy Marine Corps Commendation Gold Star in lieu of his individual action award.