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Lt. Col. Scott A Cooper, former commanding officer of Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 1, speaks to friends, family and fellow Marines after relinquishing command of VMAQ-1 to Lt. Col. Chandler P. Seagraves Friday during a ceremony in Marine Transport Squadron 1’s hangar.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Bolken

Cherry Point’s VMAQ-1 CO says farewell

20 Jan 2011 | Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Bolken

Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 1 welcomed a new commanding officer Jan. 14, when Lt. Col. Scott A Cooper relinquished command of VMAQ-1 to Lt. Col. Chandler P. Seagraves, during a ceremony in Marine Transport Squadron 1’s hangar.

Friends, family and fellow Marines watched responsibility officially change hands when Cooper passed the squadron’s battle colors to Seagraves, who was previously the director of electronic warfare training with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Cooper was VMAQ-1’s commanding officer since May 2009, in which the squadron received several awards and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“Every team needs a leader,” said Col. Andrew G. Shorter, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 14. “Lt. Col. Cooper epitomized leadership for VMAQ-1 from start to finish.”

Cooper said he felt a little awkward being the ceremony’s center of attention, because it contradicted what he said he always told his Marines.

“It’s not about you,” Cooper said he’d tell them. “My hat is off to all of the Marines of VMAQ-1. There are so many of them that don’t get the recognition that they deserve.”

Cooper went on to say that Seagraves is inheriting a great squadron with great young men and women.

“Seagraves has great experience with MAG-14 and leading Marines,” said Shorter, “and he is the perfect fit for this job.”

VMAQ-1’s new commander said he’s excited about the challenge.

“The reputation of VMAQ-1 is pure excellence,” said Seagraves, “and I hope to carry on that hallmark.”

Seagraves said he’s honored and humbled to be able to serve with the Banshees of VMAQ-1, and he parted his Marines by giving them his first order as their commanding officer.

“I charge each of you today with pushing both me and your fellow Marines surrounding you to excel daily,” Seagraves said.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point