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    15th MEU change of command, relief and appointment

    15th MEU change of command, relief and appointment

    Photo By Capt. Maida Zheng | U.S. Marine Corps Col. Joseph R. Clearfield, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, outgoing...... read more read more



    Story by Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Spencer 

    15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit hosted a combined change of command and relief and appointment ceremony on the Camp Del Mar parade deck, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, June 21, 2018.

    Marking the end of one era and the beginning of the next, Col. Joseph R. Clearfield and Sgt. Maj. Dennis K. Campbell, carried out one of the oldest Marine Corps’ traditions with an official ceremony signifying the completion of their duties as the top leaders of the 15th MEU.

    Just before passing the flag, sword, and command of the 15th MEU to Col. Jay M. Holtermann and Sgt. Maj. Daniel E. Mangrum; the most senior officer and his right-hand man – responsible for leading 2,500 Marines and Sailors around the world for the past two years, looked out onto the hundreds of uniformed men and women standing in a battle formation.

    “You should be proud of all the things you’ve accomplished – because I know I am,” said Clearfield, former commanding officer of the 15th MEU referencing the MEU’s accomplishments during the deployment.

    Together, Clearfield and Campbell prepared and led the Marines and Sailors of the 15th MEU as a forward deployed, flexible sea-based Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

    The MEU’s mission required them to be capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations, to include enabling the introduction of follow-on-forces and designated special operations, ultimately supporting the theater requirement of the geographic combatant commanders.

    During Clearfield and Campbell’s tenure, the America Amphibious Ready Group and 15th MEU participated in 16 exercises to sustain readiness and worked side-by-side with partners and allies strengthening relationships, increasing combat readiness, amphibious and crisis-response capabilities, and communication between U.S. and partner nation forces.

    Clearfield attributed the success of the unit to the blue-green relationship of the MEU/ARG and he expressed his genuine appreciation for his staff, Navy counterparts, and the Marines and Sailors of the MEU.

    The more than 4,500 Marines and Sailors of the America ARG and embarked 15th MEU conducted maritime security operations, and multiple military-to-military exchanges with partner nations in support of regional security, stability, and the free flow of maritime commerce in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East regions. The 15th MEU also contributed logistics and aviation support for Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR) in Iraq.

    “It’s bitter sweet,” said Sgt. Maj. Dennis Campbell, outgoing sergeant major. “My ability to affect the 15th MEU has come to an end and it has been a good journey.”

    Looking ahead at the future of the 15th MEU, Holtermann had two concise messages for the Marines and Sailors.

    “First, I need to express a sincere attitude of gratitude,” said Holtermann, the former chief of the Commander’s Initiatives Group for the commander in U.S. Forces Korea.

    “I see two certainties for us” he said. “One, we will be called upon and two, we will be ready.” He added the ‘what and why’ is uncertain now, but as the nature of the MEU’s mission dictates, the MEU will be the reaction force of choice.

    As a composited MEU embarked aboard three naval ships to create an Amphibious Squadron, the 15th MEU serves as the Nation’s forward deployed quick response team, capable of accomplishing numerous missions around the globe.

    “All I have to give you is one hundred percent sir,” said Mangrum, the incoming sergeant major as he addressed the incoming commander. “To the Marines and Sailors – one hundred percent is all that I ask you to give.”

    To close the ceremony, four platoons representing the MAGTF marched before the commanders and guests while rendering a salute to demonstrate honor, discipline and readiness of the unit from one commander to the other.



    Date Taken: 06.21.2018
    Date Posted: 06.21.2018 20:12
    Story ID: 281878
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US

    Web Views: 1,232
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