MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Col. James C. Stewart relinquished his duties as commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to Col. Robert V. Boucher during their change of command ceremony at the parade deck here, July 12, 2013.
Stewart, assumed command of MCAS Iwakuni on June 30, 2010. During his time as commander, MCAS Iwakuni has taken part in many operations and exercises that bolstered the American and Japanese alliance, notably, Operation Tomodachi, which was the United States’ humanitarian response for those affected by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011.
“To the air station staff, active duty, civilians, United States and Japanese, thank you,” stated Stewart during his farewell speech. “It has been a supreme pleasure and an honor to have worked with you for these past three, eight, and in some cases, twenty one years. You have literally changed the face of this air station and community; you have created a legacy that will benefit sailors and Marines, their families, for the next 50 to 70 years.”
The ceremony was Stewart’s final, as he retired after the change of command with 29 years of honorable and faithful service.
Stewart ended his remarks with a quote from the famous Nez Perce leader, Chief Joseph. “From where the sun now stands, I shall fight no more forever.”
After Stewart spoke, Boucher took the mic, briefly spoke to the crowd and then focused his attention on his command.
“To the Marines and sailors,” said Boucher. “I look forward to working with you and leading you through the next three years. Semper fidelis.”
Boucher came here from the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C., where he served as the Deputy Director, Programs and Budget, in the Finance and Resource Management division.
Boucher is a graduate of Eastern Washington University, he received his commission in August of 1989 and became a naval aviator in July of 1992. He has deployed with the both the 13th and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units, and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, where in 2010, he was the commanding officer of the last Marine Corps operational squadron and combat unit in Iraq.
In 2003, Boucher reported to Marine Helicopter Squadron One, which is responsible for the
transportation of the president, vice president, cabinet members and other VIPs. In 2006, he became a Marine One pilot and traveled to multiple countries and numerous states in support of President George W. Bush.
Boucher has accumulated more than 6,000 mishap free flight hours and his personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with a gold star, Air Medal with combat distinguishing device, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a gold star.