Guam Marine Corps Base to be named after Brigadier General Vicente “Ben” Blaz
Washington, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-Guam) announced that the U.S. Marine Corps’ main cantonment area on Guam will be named in honor of the late Brigadier General Vicente “Ben” Tomas Garrido Blaz. The Department of the Navy notified Congresswoman Bordallo that the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert B. Neller, concurred with her recommendation and is endorsing Marine Corps Base Guam to be named after Brigadier General Blaz.
Congresswoman Bordallo petitioned the Department of the Navy to honor General 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, General 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.”
Brigadier General Blaz was born on 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, Brigadier General Blas was elected to represent Guam in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served four terms as Guam’s Delegate to Congress. Brigadier General Blas passed away in January of 2014 and was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
“It is fitting that Marine Corps Base Guam be named in honor of General Ben Blaz. As the first Chamorro Marine Corps flag officer and Guam’s former member of Congress, General Blaz embodied the values and spirit of Guam, the Chamorro people, and the U.S. Marine Corps. He served our country and island with distinction, and he was a true patriot and statesman. I deeply valued the counsel he provided to me before his passing in 2014. I thank General Neller and Secretary Spencer for recognizing the contributions General Blaz made to our island, our nation, and the Marine Corps. I look forward to the Marine Corps Base Guam being named in his honor when it is completed in the coming years.”