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Maj. Gen. Burke W. Whitman, left, incoming commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North receives the MARFORRES colors from Lt. Gen. Rex C. McMillian, outgoing commander of MARFORRES and MARFORNORTH during the change of command ceremony Sept. 8, 2018, at Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans. McMillian served as the commander from 2015-2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tessa D. Watts)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Tessa Watts

Lt. Gen. McMillian relinquishes Corps’ largest command to Maj. Gen. Whitman

8 Sep 2018 | Sgt. Melissa Martens U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony held at Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans, Sept. 8, 2018.

Lt. Gen. Rex C. McMillian who served as the commander of MARFORRES and MARFORNORTH from 2015-2018 relinquished command to Maj. Gen. Burke W. Whitman.

As the commander of MARFORRES he is responsible for controlling the assignment of forces to augment, reinforce, and support the active component with trained units and individual Marines as a sustainable and ready operational reserve for employment across the full spectrum of crisis and global engagement.

As a component of U.S. Northern Command, the MARFORNORTH commander executes antiterrorism program and force protection responsibilities, advises on proper employment of Marine Corps forces, coordinates with and supports Marine Corps forces when attached to USNORTHCOM to conduct homeland defense operations and provides defense support to civil authorities.

While addressing the crowd, McMillian expressed gratitude for all of the support he has received throughout his career and conveyed that he has total trust and confidence in the work that Whitman will accomplish.

“I have worked with Maj. Gen. Whitman for some time now and know that he is the right man for the job,” McMillian stated. “The close to 40,000 troops of Marine Forces Reserve are in good hands.”

Whitman, who previously served as the commanding general for 4th Marine Division, a ground combat force comprising 17,000 Marines and Sailors, stated to those in attendance that he will strive to continue to do great things for the command.

“If there is one thing I will work to do, it is to keep things rolling smoothly just as they have been,” Whitman said. “There is a lot of work to be done and with my time as commander, I am going to work to accomplish as much as I can.”

As the ceremony drew to a close, McMillian took time to address the Marines and Sailors and thank them for how much they do for the command.

“Without these Marines and Sailors you see here today, and those stationed all over the world, the mission would not be accomplished,” McMillian said. “It is because of you all that we have success and I know you will continue to work hard for Maj. Gen. Whitman.”

McMillian is retiring from the Marine Corps with close to 40 years of service. He commissioned in 1980 via the Platoon Leaders Class program. As a naval aviator, he will continue to fly after the Marine Corps as a pilot for Delta Airlines.

With new leadership stepping in, the Marines and Sailors of MARFORRES and MARFORNORTH will continue to uphold Lt. Gen. McMillian’s standard of being “Ready to Fight Tonight.”

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