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Staff photo by Eunice Lee
Yermo resident Robert Lindsley, center, makes his way towards the podium to give a speech at the stable renaming ceremony at the Marine base Yermo Annex Tuesday. Lindsley founded the mounted color guard at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow ” the only one in the entire Marine Corps •” in 1966.

Yermo man honored for starting Marine Mounted Color Guard

Stables named after retired Lt. Col. Robert Lindsley

YERMO • Retired Marine Robert Lindsley noted that the military typically names buildings or places in honor of service members only after they have passed away.

Community members of the Marine Corps Logistics Base as well as local and regional dignitaries gathered Tuesday in a dedication ceremony renaming the home of the only Mounted Color Guard in the entire Marine Corps after Lindsley, a Yermo resident.

“I guess after 84 years they just got tired of waiting for me to go,” the retired lieutenant colonel joked from the podium.

The newly named Lt. Col. Robert A. Lindsley, USMC Ret. Base Stables is currently home to seven wild mustangs. The Marine base receives horses from the Bureau of Land Management after the native horses get broken in at the Warm Springs Correctional Facility in Carson City, Nev., in a program where prisoners work as trainers.

The horse stable already existed when Lindsley arrived at the MCLB in 1966 after having fought in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The Ohio native, who worked as the MCLB senior warehouse officer, pushed to elevate the status of the horses and riders by establishing a Mounted Color Guard unit.

The group split the cost of gasoline to travel to their first parade in Ridgecrest, Lindsley recalled.

“The original riders gave their personal time and finances into the military unit,” he said.

Since then, the Mounted Color Guard has kept busy, booking an average of 20 major events each year. The unit has fielded invites to the Super Bowl, and traveled to the Kentucky Derby during a year when Queen Elizabeth of England was in attendance. Locally, MCLB officials show off the horses at the Mardi Gras parade. The stable arena has hosted the Barstow Rodeo Stampede since 1993. The Mounted Color Guard has garnered most of its fame, however, from the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, which the unit has been part of since 1985.

Cpl. Anthony Villalobos, 24, said he was able to ride in the Rose Parade the past two years after extensive horse handling training at the base.

“A lot of us were inexperienced riders,” Villalobos said.

At the dedication, MCLB commanding officer Col. Daniel Ermer read from a bronze plaque, one of three new signs hung, that praised Lindsley’s “historic contribution” to the MCLB, in addition to his years of combat services.
Lindsley is “a veteran of three wars,” Ermer said, “part of the greatest generation.”

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