MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT -- Col. Chris Pappas III will assume command of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point from Col. Philip J. Zimmerman during a ceremony at Building 1 here at 9 a.m. today.
During the course of his tenure, Zimmerman said he did his best to take care of the service members and civilians aboard the air station amidst the challenging times the Marine Corps is facing economically during the draw down and sequestration.
“There have been some challenges, but they are no tougher than challenges the Marine Corps has gone through in the past,” he said. “The furloughs, sequestration and Continuing Resolution have made the problem a little bit harder, but not impossible.”
Zimmerman will move on to duties as the officer in charge of Marine Corps Activities Guam.
“It is a bittersweet feeling because I’ve been here for so long,” said Zimmerman. “I am going to miss the staff, Marines and Sailors. They have been the biggest part of my success. They are the ones who carry out the mission and posture the air station for the future.”
Pappas comes to the air station from the Pentagon where he served as the chief of directorate of Joint Force Development’s Joint Lessons Learned Division. He said he is excited to assume command of Cherry Point.
“Getting the chance to lead Marines is an honor,” said Pappas. “It’s a fantastic opportunity. I’m glad to be back at Cherry Point. My family and I have been welcomed with open arms.”
Pappas was named as the Marine Naval Flight Officer of the Year in 2000, and he completed more than 2,200 flight hours in the FA-18 Hornet.