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Col. Michael Borgschulte, the outgoing Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39 commanding officer addresses the audience during his change of command ceremony on the flightline at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 25. During the ceremony, command of MAG-39 changed hands from Col. Michael Borgschulte to Col. Matthew Mowery. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Liah Smuin/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Liah Smuin

Passing the colors: MAG-39 command changes hands

6 Jun 2017 | Lance Cpl. Liah Smuin 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Wind whipped across the flightline of Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, as command of Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39 changed hands from, Col. Michael “Meat” Borgschulte to Col. Matthew “Rush” Mowery, May 25.

“Many people say a change of command is a bittersweet event,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general. “I’m excited that we get to keep benefiting the 3rd MAW with Col. Borgschulte’s leadership.”
Borgschulte is leaving MAG-39 to take the post of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing assistant wing commander, located at MCAS Miramar, California.

Borgschulte graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1991 and has served in the Marine Corps since. During his career he has been stationed at Camp Pendleton, California and overseas in Bahrain. During his 26 years of service, Borgschulte has deployed seven times around the world in support of several combat operations in the Middle East and with the 15th and 31st Marine Expeditionary Units. Borgschulte is selected for Brigadier General.

During the ceremony Borgschulte was awarded the Legion of Merit. The award citation highlighted his accomplishments during his time in command of MAG-39 to include establishing a Marine Air-Ground Task Force integration program with the 1st Marine Division, leading the transition of new type model aircraft and leading the Marines of MAG-39 to complete more flight hours than 1st MAW and 4th MAW combined in 2016.

“Col. Borgschulte is a dynamic leader who continuously focuses on training and the mission, all with a combat mindset,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael Pritchard, 1st MAW sergeant major, who formerly served as the MAG-39 sergeant major under Borgschulte. “All of the Marines that have served with Col. Borgschulte during any part of his or her career are more combat efficient and are better Marines, leaders, mentors and role models.”

Borgschulte took the time to commend the hard work and dedication of the MAG-39 Marines during the ceremony.

“I am incredibly proud of the performance of MAG-39 over the past two years.  These warriors have met and exceeded every critical warfighting metric time and time again and we have done this while having some fun along the way,” said Borgschulte. “I enjoyed witnessing and being a catalyst to drive the ‘Culture of Winning’ that MAG-39 executes with every assigned task.”

Borgschulte wishes Mowery success and says he is confident that MAG-39 will continue their spirit of winning, even taking it to new heights.

Mowery, who previously served as the deputy commander at the Naval Safety Center in Norfolk, Virginia, took the opportunity to thank the assembled guests for the impact they have had on his career and for the opportunity to lead the Marines of MAG-39.

“I know this MAG, I’ve spent nine out of 16 years of my career here and know the excellence of the Marines here,” said Mowery. “I’m committed to making sure this MAG has the resources it needs to be ready to answer the nation’s call.”


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