Nicholson bids farewell to III Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa
CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson’s last official act as the top Marine in Japan might not surprise those who served with the personable, hard-charging III Marine Expeditionary Force commander during his nearly four-decade career.
Just hours before he handed leadership to Lt. Gen. Eric Smith Thursday evening on Camp Courtney’s parade grounds, Nicholson meritoriously promoted five Marines and a Navy corpsman in an intimate ceremony in front of their family and friends at the Operation Iceberg memorial.
Nicholson recited the biography of each servicemember from memory before presenting them with their awards and shaking their hands.
“This is hallowed ground,” he said as the troops crowded around. “Any promotion is a great day … but you do it here in Okinawa; you do it at the site of this monument here — it’s something. I don’t care if you’re a Marine for four years or 40, you will always remember this day. I’m proud as hell of each and every one of you.”
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