MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines and sailors with II Marine Expeditionary Force held
a change of command ceremony as Maj. Gen. Walter L. Miller Jr. assumed command
of II MEF from Maj. Gen. William D. Beydler at Camp Lejeune, Oct. 22.
Miller assumes command of II MEF forces for a second time,
having commanded II MEF Forward in 2013 as the senior Marine in charge of
Regional Command Southwest, which included Helmand and Nimruz provinces in
“It’s an incredible honor. I never expected to have the
opportunity to come back,” Miller said. “It’s very rewarding to be back here
with the Marines that I’ve served with so many times in the past.”
Miller, who arrived at II MEF following a stint as Chief of
Staff for U.S. Special Operations Command, said returning to command II MEF
forces provides him the opportunity to expand on his predecessor’s success in
preparing the unit to defend the nation as an elite fighting force.
Miller expressed that one of the MEF’s biggest strengths is
its ability to build Marine Air-Ground Task Forces rapidly and the Marines’
ability to maintain their readiness to be the first to fight in any theatre of
“We’re Naval in nature, and once you set sail at sea, you’re
going to run into a storm, so we have to be ready and I believe II MEF is
ready,” Miller said.
Miller plans to continue support for operations and
exercises that range from expeditionary to amphibious in nature. Marines and
sailors of II MEF will employ for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief,
crisis and contingency response, theater security cooperation, and serve as a
credible deterrent force for the United States of America.
Beydler took command of II MEF in July of 2014 and
immediately focused his attention on II MEF readiness to deploy, employ and
redeploy forces in support of Geographic Combatant Commander requirements and
the National Security Strategy. His force preservation and community outreach
initiatives such as the new “Protect What You’ve Earned” campaign were designed
to keep Marines prepared for the mission.
“It has been my pleasure,” Beydler said. “I appreciate the
Marines and sailors, and I appreciate our leaders.”
Beydler, currently nominated for his third star, will become
the new commanding general of Marine Corps Forces Central Command (MARCENT)
based out of Tampa, Florida.