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U.S. Marine Corps Col. Ralph J. Rizzo, Jr., left, acting commander, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base (MCIEAST-MCB) Camp Lejeune, embraces Brig. Gen. Adolfo Garcia Jr., right, outgoing commanding general, MCIEAST-MCB Camp Lejeune during the MCIEAST-MCB Camp Lejeune relinquishment of command ceremony ‚Äčon MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, May 24, 2024. The relinquishment of command ceremony represents the transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from the outgoing commanding general to the incoming acting commander. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jorge Borjas)

Photo by Cpl. Jorge Borjas


29 May 2024 | MCIEAST COMMSTRAT Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Col. Ralph J. Rizzo, Jr. assumed duties as the acting commander of Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base (MCIEAST-MCB) Camp Lejeune today at W.P.T. Hill Field. Brig. Gen. Adolfo Garcia Jr. officially relinquished command of MCIEAST-MCB Camp Lejeune during the formal ceremony.

Under an overcast sky, more than 300 people gathered to witness the time-honored tradition of transferring formal authority from one commander to the next. The ceremony was attended by dozens of Navy and Marine Corps leaders, most notably Maj. Gen. David W. Maxwell, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations Command, and members of the local community.

Commending Garcia for his eleven months leading MCIEAST, Maxwell said, “Whether it is focusing on the resilience of the installations, whether it has been taking care of the Marines’ quality of life, and just sustaining daily ops and training requirements, you have done that, but I think your real focus has been on people and leading the Marines.”

As a dual-hatted acting commander of the base and regional command supporting five other installations along the East Coast, Rizzo will be responsible for promoting the combat readiness of the operating forces by providing state-of-the-art training venues, services and support to the 122,000 Marines, Sailors, civilian employees, and families associated with these installations.

When it was his turn to speak, Garcia took time to thank those community leaders, individuals, staffs, and family members for the role they played in making his tenure there a success. Then, looking at the command colors, he offered some perspective on the vital role MCIEAST plays in supporting the warfighter.

“You don’t see a lot of battle streamers on there because [the command is] in a support role. The Marines and civilians have embraced the idea of being the supporting effort and where they get their gratitude, where they get their kudos is when they can send those [operational] units forward to get those battle streamers,” he said. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about support.” 

After recognizing and thanking a number of distinguished guests, Rizzo made a specific point to address the tenant units of the II Marine Expeditionary Force directly.

“My sole priority is to ensure that you can build readiness to project combat power at the time and place of your choosing anywhere in the world to locate and close with the enemy,” he said. “You have the command's undivided support.”

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