Photo Information

U.S. Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force conduct a Change of Command Ceremony aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. on June 28, 2012. The Change of Command ceremony was conducted to pass on authority. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David McKenzie)

Photo by Lance Cpl. David Mckenzie

Colonel Stopa assumes command of II MEF Headquarters Group

29 Jun 2012 | 2nd Lt Philip J. Kulczewski, II Marine Expeditionary Force Public Affairs

Marines and Sailors of II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group welcomed Col. James B. Stopa, a native of Niagara Falls, N.Y., as he assumed command during a ceremony here, June 28, 2012.


More than 200 friends, family and military personnel attended the ceremony, which included   Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton, Commanding General, II Marine Expeditionary Force and Maj. Gen. Michael G. Dana, Commanding General, 2d Marine Logistics Group.


As Col. Stopa addressed his Marines for the first time, he complimented the Marines on their professional appearance and sense of spirit. Next he gave the Marines his command philosophy.  “Number one, focus on the mission, and number two, positive proactive leadership on all levels,” said Stopa.


Col. Stopa completed his assignment as Policy Division Chief for Combined Forces and United Nations Command, prior to assuming command of II MHG.  As the new Commanding Officer of MHG, he will provide administrative, logistical and command support functions for the II MEF Command Element and supported units to enhance the war-fighting capabilities of II MEF.


Col. Stopa was commissioned into the Marine Corps in 1989 through Officer Candidate School. A Tank Officer, he has commanded Marines at every level from platoon through Battalion. Col. Stopa has also served as an operations, plans and training officer within Fleet Marine Forces, Combined Forces and United Nations Command Forces.


Col. Michael M. Sweeney relinquished command to Col. Stopa by expressing his great pride in his Marines many accomplishments.  During his tenure as commanding officer, the Marines and sailors of MHG successfully deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom securing over 900 square miles of battlespace.


For more information and news products on II MEF Marines, please visit the unit’s web site at