Captain Aaron Schnetzler was a bit uncertain when he received an assignment reporting to NAS Meridian.
"When I first heard I was coming to Meridian I was like, where am I going?" said Schnetzler. "But since I have been here it has really grown on me."
Captain Aaron Schnetzler began his tour in Meridian in July, 2007 as the Marine Aviation Training Support Squadron One's Executive Officer. It didn't take long before he was promoted to Commanding Officer. Since then over 2,000 Marines have graduated under his command and great leadership.
"Being here at MATSS-1, first as the Ex. Officer, now as the Commanding Officer, it has been a great time. I love being around Marines and being involved in their initial development before they go out to their first duty stations. It has been a very rewarding experience."
As Captain Schnetzler leaves the base Major Aaron J. Brooks steps in to relieve him. Captain Brooks has just returned from a tour in Afghanistan and says his experience overseas will help to prepare young Marines for their future assignments.
"I'm really excited to be here. My mom is from Alabama, I wanted to be stationed somewhere in the deep South and not be on the bubble to deploy." says Brooks. "This should give me time to focus on developing the school, sending these Marines out into the fleet. I just came from an operational tour so I feel like I have good perspective in making sure these guys are prepared to go out there. "
Speaker Colonel Joseph P. Richards came up from Pensacola Florida to send former C.O. Schnetzler off.
The Colonel said, "Captain Schnetzler has taken command of MATSS-1 and done fantastic work. We wanted to be here to present his medal. He has earned it. And we wanted to wish him well on his next assignment. He is headed to Iwakuni, Japan."