MCAS Cherry Point News

 

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Maj. Cameron A. Fitzsimmons stands in front of 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, March 13. She is the first female battery commander in the battalion's history. Fitzsimmons is the Headquarters and Service Battery commander.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Unique B. Roberts

2nd LAAD trailblazer "A success story"

18 Mar 2014 | Lance Cpl. Unique B. Roberts

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 duty.”

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.”
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point