Beaufort News

Reynolds becomes first woman to serve as depot's commander

Brig. Gen. Frederick Padilla prepares to pass the organizational colors to Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds, while Sgt. Maj. Gary Buck salutes during the change of command ceremony Friday at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Reynolds becomes the first woman to serve as the 96-year-old depot's commanding general.
Brig. Gen. Frederick Padilla prepares to pass the organizational colors to Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds, while Sgt. Maj. Gary Buck salutes during the change of command ceremony Friday at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Reynolds becomes the first woman to serve as the 96-year-old depot's commanding general. Jonathan Dyer/The Beaufort Gazette

Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds became the first female commander of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island on Friday but said nothing of the accomplishment during her change-of-command ceremony.

Reynolds took over for Brig. Gen. Frederick Padilla before hundreds of spectators inside the depot's All-Weather Training Facility.

A native of Baltimore, Md., Reynolds was most recently in charge of the Headquarters Group for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

While serving a yearlong tour of duty with the group at Camp Leatherneck Afghanistan, Reynolds became the "first female Marine to command battle space," according to the website for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Reynolds didn't mention that accomplishment nor her new place in Parris Island's 96 years of history during a brief speech Friday.

"I look forward to learning from you, working alongside you and continuing this mission," Reynolds said. "There is no finer mission than the one we have in this Corps. I just got back from being with the operating forces ... and it is humbling every day to see what those kids are willing to do to be good Marines. That starts here."

Capt. Timothy Patrick, depot spokesman, said it was not surprising Reynolds didn't mention her milestone roles.

"She's coming in here like any other (commanding general)," Patrick said. "In our culture, a Marine is a Marine is a Marine. My commander is commander, bottom line."

Reynolds declined to be interviewed after the ceremony.

In addition to commanding Parris Island, Reynolds will oversee the Eastern Recruiting Region, which spans more than 20 states east of the Mississippi River and Puerto Rico.

Padilla, who became the base's commanding general in August 2009, was expected to leave Parris Island today to command the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.

Padilla said he would miss Beaufort and the community's affinity for the military.

"There is not a better community-military relationship than what the Tri-Command has with Beaufort County," Padilla said. "It's been a pleasure to call this place home."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow staff writer Patrick Donohue at www.twitter.com/OnBaseBeaufort.

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