Marine Corps Base Hawaii --
Lt. Gen Steven R. Rudder relinquished command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific and Fleet Marine Forces Pacific to Lt. Gen. William M. Jurney in a ceremony here today.
Lt. Gen. Rudder has been in command of MARFORPAC and FMFPAC since July 2020. He was commissioned in June 1984, and will retire later this month with more than 38 years’ service.
Lt. Gen Jurney was commissioned in 1987, and most recently served as the commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The ceremony featured marching units, the MARFORPAC Band, a combined color guard representing MARFORPAC and its subordinate commands, an artillery salute and the traditional passing of the unit colors from the outgoing to the incoming commander, signifying the transfer of authority and accountability of the command.
Distinguished guests included former MARFORPAC Commander and now-Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger, U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Admiral John C. Aquilino, other flag and general officers, Congressional and Hawaii state elected officials, and many others.
Gen. Berger spoke to the challenges that Lt. Gen. Rudder faced in leading MARFORPAC, especially as the Marine Corps implements Force Design 2030.
“He had to make sure 80,000 Marines were ready now, tonight, tomorrow…which is a hard job.” Berger said. “I am very grateful for both counts, for making sure all the Marines and I and III MEF were ready all the time; when Admiral Aquilino needed them to go, they were ready. And also for leading the Marine Corps into the future.”
Lt. Gen. Rudder spoke to the magnitude of work MARFORPAC Marines and Sailors are doing throughout the region. “On any given day, we have 26 to 30,000 west of the (international) date line; today they’re in 10 different countries, two territories and 31 different locations, from building schools, from taking military mine action, to training alongside our partners,” he said. “It’s just amazing, the work they do. They are everywhere.” He also noted that MARFORPAC forces can’t do it all alone. “To all our allies and partners, we can’t do it without you,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Jurney expressed his pleasure at being back in the Indo-Pacific. “I may be new to the team here, but I’m no stranger to the business of operations in the Indo-PACOM (region). Nor am I a stranger to the proud reputation, legacy, and role which MARFORPAC and our Marine Forces here in the Pacific provide not only to the region, but to our nation,” he said. “I have no doubt that the Marines and the forces here in the Pacific are going to continue to contribute significantly both to the region and to our Corps going forward.”
During Lt. Gen. Rudder’s tenure, MARFORPAC Marines participated in several high-profile events, including the Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) live-fire demonstration of two Naval Strike Missiles launched against a target ship (ex-USS INGRAHAM) during Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021's Sinking Exercise, the largest naval and amphibious exercise conducted since the Cold War era. MARFORPAC also took the lead in implementing Gen. Berger’s “Force Design 2030” concept, spearheading the development of a comprehensive force laydown option for Marine forces in the region. Additionally, Lt. Gen. Rudder’s tenure was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which he ensured proper allocation of vaccines and testing supplies from the DoD COVID-19 Task Force for all MARFORPAC personnel.
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Imagery from the ceremony is available on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) here: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/marforpacchangeofcommand