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Scalise takes over MCLB command
Ermer prepares to move to Pentagon
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE • Col. Dan Ermer, commander of the Marine Corps Logistics Base since 2009, addressed his Marines and local officials for the last time Wednesday as he prepares to move to a new post at the Pentagon.
Ermer, 47, handed over command to Col. Michael Scalise, who moves to the base’s top post from the Special Operations Command Africa in Stuttgart, Germany.
Scalise said his leadership would not change the base’s relationship with the Barstow community.
Ermer’s tenure was marked by improvements and efficiencies at the base, said Brig. Gen. Vincent Coglianese, the commanding officer for Marine Corps Installations West, based at Camp Pendleton. Ermer received the Legion of Honor award Wednesday for his service as the base’s commander.
Coglianese pointed to accomplishments like a new LEED-certified barracks, reducing a backlog of work orders at the base and rebuilding the base’s heating plant. The base also installed the first wind turbine in the Marine Corps, generating 1.5 megawatts of electricity.
Ermer said he took pride in his staff for how they handle themselves when things go wrong. He recalled in 2010 when water test showed high levels of toxic perchlorates in the base’s water supply. The crisis required a flurry of meetings with officials at City Hall, Ermer said, adding that Marine Corps crisis teams sprung into action and effectively dealt with the problems — all while Ermer was out of town. That led to an ongoing Environmental Protection Agency cleanup of a contaminated property in the area.
When a human resources error resulted in all of the base’s 1,200 employees being removed from the payroll system, staff had to input all of them again before a 3 p.m. deadline that would prevent employees from being paid on time, Ermer said.
At the base’s commissary, base police officers once received a call that a soldier’s 2-year-old child had stopped breathing and performed CPR, saving the infant’s life.
“Bullets may not be flying here, but what we do aboard the base matters, and it can have life or death consequences,” Ermer said.
Scalise, of Hampton, Iowa, grew up about 30 miles from Ermer, who hails from Mason City, Iowa. Ermer said his mother knew of the Scalise family — the children could sometimes be troublemakers — but the two were not friends in their youth.
“Dan and I rode a different bus,” Scalise joked. “His was longer.”
Former Marine Corps Logistics Base Commander Col. Dan Ermer
Hometown: Mason City, Iowa
Commissioned: Dec. 1987
Education: Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, Webster University, St. Louis, Mo.; Master of Science, National Resource Strategy, National Defense University in Washington, DC; Bachelor of Science, Agricultural Business, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Awards: Legion of Honor award, Bronze Star Medal with one gold star, Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars and Combat “V”, and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement, and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Deployments: Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm; Western Pacific; Resolute Response in Nairobi, Kenya; evacuation of American Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea; served in Iraq from September 2006 to March 2007.
Incoming Marine Corps Logistics Base Commander Col. Michael Scalise
Hometown: Hampton, Iowa
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Business Management, Buena Vista College at Storm Lake, Storm Lake, Iowa; Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
Awards: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Deployments: Iraq, in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm; Okinawa, Japan; Western Pacific; Iraq in 2007; Special Operations Command Africa in Stuttgart, Germany.
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