June 26, 2014 --
Headquarters and Support Company, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s newest commanding officer, Capt. Kenneth Barber, was passed the company’s guidon by Capt. Justin Jacobs during a change of command ceremony June 19 at Boyett Park.
That act, in front of his company of Marines as well as other base officials, civilian-Marines and family members, signified Barber taking the helm and his total commitment to the Marines he serves.
Barber, deputy operations branch head, Communication and Information Systems Division, took over from Jacobs, who served as the company’s commander for roughly the past nine months as well as continued his role as the base deputy public affairs officer.
A Marine for 17 years and three months, Barber hopes the Marines he will be leading can learn from his experiences as well as he can learn from them to improve as a leader.
A former enlisted Marine who advanced to the rank of staff sergeant during the first nine and a half years of his career, Barber, who has been an officer since 2006, said he wants the “Marines to learn whatever they can from me. If they want to take away from my experiences as an enlisted Marine, if they want to ask questions about the transformation from enlisted to officer or how I feel now that I am an officer, I want them to learn anything they can.”
“Much like (the MCLB Albany commanding officer,) Col. (Don) Davis, one of my overarching philosophies (is) I want to provide a good climate and the way I relate that is a family-oriented unit,” Barber added. “We are away from our biological families so (it’s) always important to me that we are the family away from the family. I just felt like it was important to have every Marine understand that they are cared about. We care about them and they have a place within the unit. It is something I will reinforce.”
Not his first assignment as a company commander, Barber portrayed his newest duties as an honor to serve the Marines. His first company commander role was with Personnel Support Detachment 27, Marine Wing Support Group 27, Cherry Point, North Carolina, from May 2011 to June 2012.
“I’m truly looking forward to being the company commander,” Barber said. “(Capt. Jacobs) has laid a great foundation for me to build upon, and I expect us to do great things over the course of the next six to eight months I’m assigned to this billet. I know we have a great staff aboard the installation, so I am looking forward to working with the staff and everyone (who) plays a part in supporting the Marines.”
Jacobs described his first command assignment as rewarding and an overall phenomenal experience.
“I personally don’t think there’s a more rewarding job than holding command of Marines, no matter if it’s just one or 20 or 1,000,” he said. “It’s an amazing responsibility. It’s an amazing opportunity. You just hope and pray every day that you are doing the best you can and doing right by each individual Marine because at the end of the day that’s what it’s about — the individual Marines.”
Jacobs noted he will miss his position as company commander and wished his successor the best.
“Regardless of the number of Marines, that’s still the most important thing and should be your full-time focus,” Jacobs said. “Regardless of the actual number of Marines, they deserve 100 percent of your attention all the time.”
The former company commander thanked MCLB Albany’s leadership team as well as the Marines under his command for the support they gave him during his leadership.
“Fortunately here in Albany we have great Marines,” he said.
Turning to the Marines in formation, he added, “Keep doing the great job that you do every day. It’s nothing short of phenomenal. I want to give a shout out or special thank you as well to my staff, particularly Gunnery Sgt. (Daniel) Walters and Master Sgt. (Jody) Harvey. I don’t think there are two other better equipped (staff noncommissioned officers) to have as a company commander because they are just exceptional Marines (who) do an exceptional job.”