The new Marine Commander at Parris Island pledges that while he’s there everyone will “follow the rules” and “do things right.” Brig. Gen. Austin Renforth took over the reins of the legendary Marine training depot on Friday.
Upheaval and tension
The previous commander of the training depot, Gen. Terry Williams, was removed from his post after a training accident killed a recruit, 20 year old Raheel Siddiqui. Two high level Marines, Col Joshua Kissoon, and Col Paul Cucinotta, and an “undisclosed number” of drill instructors were also removed as a result of the investigation of that incident.
Williams had only been a General for a short period of time when appointed to Parris Island in 2014. Though he oversaw the training of 38,000 recruits, his tenure was marked by high profile firings and upheavals, such as the firing of Lt. Col. Kate Germano, the commanding officer of the Marine Corps’ only all-female recruit training battalion.
With the removal of so many DIs, some are concerned that the Drill Instructors will be looking over their shoulders, worrying about whether or not they are messing up, according to the Marine Corps Times.
Brig. General Austin Renforth is a career infantry officer, and definitely not a desk jockey. He promises that he will bring what is needed to the training of recruits.
According to his USMC bio,
“Brig. Gen. Renforth has had the privilege of command at every level. He served as a rifle platoon, heavy machinegun platoon, and dragon platoon commander at 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, participating in Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM. He also served as a platoon commander at 2nd Light Armored Infantry Battalion and deployed as a detachment commander with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, in support of Operation PROVIDE PROMISE. Brig. Gen. Renforth commanded rifle companies at 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, and 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines. At the battalion level, he commanded the Maritime Special Purpose Force while deployed with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Later, Brig. Gen. Renforth commanded 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and deployed twice in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. He later assumed command of 7th Marine Regiment and deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Most recently, he was commanding general of Training Command.”
“All right. But first off I want to get it going a little bit — my God, this isn’t a funeral by the way, OK? This is a change of command celebration. We’re all real excited.” Brig Gen Renforth to the audience on Friday
Semper Fi, General.