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U.S. Marines with the Marine Innovation Unit attend their Marine Corps' 248th birthday ball, Queens, New York, Nov. 5, 2023. Stood up in March 2022, MIU leverages existing Marine talent in order to: accelerate the adoption of advanced capabilities; transform Naval Service capacity for technology employment; and retain and invest in Total Force human capital. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David Intriago)

Photo by Lance Cpl. David Intriago

Colonel Brooks D. Braden assumes command of Marine Innovation Unit

1 Dec 2023 | Capt. Kevin Stapleton U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

Col. Brooks D. Braden assumed command of the Marine Innovation Unit from Col. Matthew C. Swindle during a change of command ceremony and the unit’s first-ever Marine Corps Birthday Ball celebration hosted at Terrace On The Park here, November 5, 2023.

Stood up in March 2022, the Marine Innovation Unit leverages existing Marine talent to accelerate the adoption of advanced capabilities; transform naval service capacity for technology employment; and retain and invest in Total Force human capital.

“I am honored to take command of such a diverse team of Marines and Sailors who are truly doing so much to help advance the Corps in support of Force Design and the future fight,” said Braden, a Reserve Marine who is the founder and principal of a healthcare company based in Greensboro, North Carolina, in his civilian job. “The Marine Innovation Unit has and will continue to set the standard for accelerated innovation throughout the Total Force.”

Swindle departs the Marine Innovation Unit after a historic tour of service leading the Marine Corps’ first-ever innovation command – and the Department of Defense’s only service-level innovation unit in New York. He oversaw more than 100 engagements opened on behalf of customers throughout the service, supporting priorities that spanned talent management; contested logistics; capability experimentation; and many other modernization efforts around the Corps.

Starting with a handful of Marines in early 2022 to the unit’s current operationally capable complement of more than 300 active and Reserve Marines and Sailors, Swindle has much to reflect on during his assignment as MIU’s inaugural commanding officer.

“Whether in the private sector or the Defense Department, we have all seen the odds stacked against any startup; failure is all too common. But the Marine Innovation Unit is different,” said Swindle, a Reserve Marine who serves as chairman, founder, and CEO of a renewable energy power company based in Hood River, Oregon, in his civilian job. “Success is ultimately achieved because of our Marines and Sailors, specifically their willingness to make the Corps even more lethal and their commitment to enabling our active-component customers around the Fleet. I am so proud of all this unit has accomplished over the past two years, and there is still so much good to come for the future of MIU and our Corps.”

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