Marines

Photo Information

Gen. John M. Paxton (far left), Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Maj. Gen. William D. Beydler (middle), former commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, and Maj. Gen. Walter L. Miller Jr., commanding general of II MEF, salute the II MEF colors during a change of command ceremony at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 22, 2015. During the ceremony, Miller assumed command from Beydler. 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.

Photo by Cpl. Krista James

II MEF welcomes new commanding general

22 Oct 2015 | Cpl. Krista James II Marine Expeditionary Force

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 Afghanistan. 

“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 operation. 

“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.