MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. – Until
2012, battery commanders at Marine Corps Low Altitude Air Defense Battalions were
all male field grade officers.
Maj. Cameron A. Fitzsimmons broke that mold,
assuming duties as 2nd LAAD's Headquarters and Service Battery commander in
Oct. 2012, a first in the LAAD community's 26-year history.
As battery commander, Fitzsimmons has more than 100
Marines under her charge. She provides them with the necessary tools to be
successful both professionally and personally, she said.
“I’m here to serve the Marines,” said
Fitzsimmons. “My job is to support,
develop and ensure the welfare of my Marines. First sergeant and I work hand-in-hand
to make sure our Marines are trained. We’re here to make sure they have the
opportunities to advance in their career and that is first and foremost, our
Being the first female to assume a battery commander
billet, Fitzsimmons has reinvigorated the battery by ensuring the Marines are
prepared to continuously support the mission of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
“My focus has been to create and maintain a coherent
operational unit,” said Fitzsimmons. “My second focus has been to get back to
the basics. While we have spent the last 12 years of war getting the job done, ,
we’ve kind of lost sight of basic Marine Corps procedures and standards within
our MOS and we need to get back to being an effective, efficient unit at home.”
Since her arrival at 2nd LAAD, she has stepped up to
the plate and exhibited profound leadership and dedication to the Corps and the
battalion, according to 1st Sgt. Marcus Martinez, H&S
Battery first sergeant.
“She knows how to run a cohesive unit. She has that
natural ability to lead and she doesn’t run from responsibility,” said
Martinez. “Her work performance is outstanding.”
As fellow Marines observe her every move,
Fitzsimmons continues to press forward to be the best Marine possible for others
to follow, said Martinez.
“She’s a success story,” said Lt. Col. Scott E.
Cobb, the commanding officer of 2nd LAAD Bn. “The Marine Corps is integrating women
into previously all-male units and she’s a part of the initial integration for
the unit. The battalion has proven how successful the integration can be.”
Leadership, however, should not be evaluated on
gender, but instead based on the standards and principles that the Marine Corps
has always upheld, according to Cobb.
“She’s a very
influential and innovative leader,” said Cobb. “We’ve embraced the integration
and she’s definitely a trailblazer.”