WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Marine Corps’ main cantonment area in Guam will be named in honor of the late Brig. Gen. Vicente “Ben” Tomas Garrido Blaz.
The Department of the Navy notified Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-Guam) that the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller, concurred with her recommendation and is endorsing Marine Corps Base Guam to be named after Blaz.
Bordallo petitioned the Department of the Navy to honor Blas through a commemorative naming of the Marine Corps Base currently under construction in Finegayan, Guam. In his recommendation to Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, Neller commented “we believe (the commemoration) is in the best interest of the Marine Corps, and reflects the strong and unique relationship of the Marine Corps and the people of Guam.”
Blaz was born in Guam and is the highest ranked Chamorro to have served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a member of Guam’s greatest generation and was survivor of the Japanese occupation of Guam during World War II. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 29 years, including as command of the 9th Marine Regiment, one of the units that liberated Guam.
Following his distinguished military career, Blaz was elected to represent Guam in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served four terms as Guam’s delegate to Congress. He passed away in January 2014 and was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. (PR)