Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune hosted a change of command ceremony on June 26, 2020, and bid farewell to Lt. Col. Matthew A. Markham, outgoing commanding officer, and welcomed Lt. Col. NaTasha M. Everly, incoming commanding officer, at Stone Bay on MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
The battalion was activated Jan. 1, 1943, as the Rifle Range Detachment to provide Marines with marksmanship training before going to combat during World War II. In 1950, the detachment was re-designated as Weapons Training Battalion.
Today, WTBN supports more than 25,000 Marines from MCB Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River with facilities for marksmanship training, annual qualifications and competition shooting.
According to Markham, since assuming command of WTBN in 2018, the unit has had to adapt to several changes caused by the 2018 and 2019 hurricanes and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite all the challenges that 2020 has brought us, we have managed to do several great things that I am proud of,” Markham said. “One accomplishment is that the staff has re-written the SOP and has included a lot of training for the FAPs (Fleet Assistance Program personnel) and the permanent personnel to systematically assume their duties.”
Before assuming command of WTBN, Everly was the division head for the Defensive Cyber Space Operations Group in Quantico, Virginia, for three years.
“I know that I am here today because of the wonderful Marines and outstanding civilians that I have had the opportunity to work with and I would not be here without the support of those individuals,” Everly said. “I can only hope that I am able to pay it forward to you all as an engaged servant leader over the next two years.”