Commanding Officer, 1st Law Enforcement Battalion
Lt. Col. S. F. Welch

LtCol Welch was born in Waterville, Maine.  He is a graduate of Colby College where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government/Political Science.

Following college graduation in 1998, LtCol Welch enlisted in the Marine Corps and attended Boot Camp at Parris Island, SC.  After completing the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, NC, LtCol Welch was assigned duty as a 0311/Rifleman at the Chemical, Biological, Incident Response Force (CBIRF) at Camp Lejeune, NC.   He was subsequently selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and attended Officer Candidates School and was commissioned a 2ndLt in December, 1999 and sent to The Basic School in January, 2000 graduating in June, 2000.

After completing the Military Police Officer Basic Course at Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri, he reported to Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii for duty at the Provost Marshal’s Office.  LtCol Welch served in billets as a Watch Commander, Platoon Commander, Special Reaction Team Commander, Training Officer, and Operations Officer from 2000-2003.  While stationed in Hawaii, LtCol Welch deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the Military Police Detachment Commander for Marine Central Command and the Personal Security Officer for the Commanding General, Marine Forces Pacific.

He then received orders to Marine Wing Support Squadron 373 at Miramar, California.  He worked as the Operations Officer at the Provost Marshal’s Office before being attached to Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 at Twentynine Palms, Califorina where he served as Military Police Detachment Commander and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Al Taqaddam, Iraq in 2004.  After returning to MWSS 373, LtCol Welch served in billets as Company Commander and Operations Officer.  He deployed again in November, 2005 to November, 2006 as Executive Officer of a National Police Transition Team training Iraqi Police in Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Following the completion of Expeditionary Warfare School in 2008, LtCol Welch received orders to Camp Pendleton, California as the Commanding Officer, Military Police Support Company, I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group.  He deployed the company to Helmand Province, Afghanistan from March, 2010 to March 2011 in support of I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward and Operation Enduring Freedom. LtCol Welch assumed command of 1st Law Enforcement Battalion on 29 June, 2018. 

LtCol Welch served as the CO, Recruiting Station Springfield, MA, 1st Marine Corps District, Eastern Recruiting Region, Marine Corps Recruiting Command from 2011-2014.  He then attended Naval Command & Staff College in Newport, RI earning a Master’s Degree in Security and Strategic Studies.  LtCol reported to II MEF in June, 2015 to serve as the Mission Assurance/Law Enforcement Integration and Strategic Engagement Officer with G-3 Current Operations.  He executed a deployment to Helmand, Afghanistan as the XO for the 505th Zone Police Advisor Team for Task Force Southwest from April, 2017 to January, 2018.  LtCol Welch assumed command of 1st Law Enforcement Battalion on 29 June, 2018.

LtCol Welch is a graduate of Non-Lethal Weapons Instructor Course, Personal Security Detail Course, Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Basic and Advanced Course, and Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) School.

LtCol Welch’s personal decorations include the Bronze Star with Combat “V” and one gold star, Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” and two gold stars, Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat “V” and 1 gold star, and the Combat Action Ribbon.