I Marine Expeditionary Force
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Ready. Engaged. Faithful.
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I MEF provides the Marine Corps a globally responsive, expeditionary, and fully scalable Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), capable of generating, deploying, and employing ready forces and formations for crisis response, forward presence, major combat operations, and campaigns. 


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1st Marine Division
July 20, 2021 | 1:51
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1st Marine Division
July 20, 2021 | 1:51
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Photo Information

Lieutenant Gen. John A. Toolan, right, commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force, rides his motorcycle along Interstate 15 toward Murrieta Calif., May 29, 2014. Nearly 20 Marines participated in the company-sponsored motorcycle ride in an effort to build camaraderie and promote safe motorcycle riding techniques.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ricardo Hurtado

Marines promote safe motorcycle riding techniques

2 Jun 2014 | Lance Cpl. Ricardo Hurtado

Marines with I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group participated in a motorcycle ride May 29, 2014.

Nearly 20 Marines took their motorcycles for a group ride, building camaraderie and promoting safe motorcycle handling techniques. The event consisted of a 70-mile, round-trip ride from Camp Del Mar to Murrieta, Calif., where riders stopped to enjoy lunch and each other’s company at the local Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.

Among the riders was the commanding general of I MEF, Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, who came out to spend time bonding with the Marines.  

Toolan spoke to the riders and said motorcycle riding is a good way for Marines to release stress from work and busy schedules. 

“There’s too many times when we work [hard] several days a week,” said Toolan. “And I think we all appreciate the fact that riding motorcycles gives us a little peace of mind.”

The occasion helped new riders gain experience on busy roads and allowed them to practice safe riding techniques.

“What we do is inherently dangerous, as Marines, and when you get yourself on a motorcycle the odds stack against you even more,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Kepler, I MHG motorcycle club president. “It just makes sense for the units to sponsor these types of events so we can get [the Marines] out in the streets, watch what they’re doing on their motorcycles and make corrections as they’re necessary.”

Staff Sgt. Jason Garcia, a team chief with 1st Civil Affairs Group, I MEF, said his favorite part of these club rides is getting to know the Marines he works with and learning riding tips from more experienced riders. 

“It’s important for the Marines to have that cohesiveness, come together, spend time, meet new people and get more experience on the road with their motorcycles,” said Garcia.  

Spending time among Marines, having fun, and swapping ideas and riding tips between younger and more experienced riders were some of the goals for the ride. 

“Everybody learned something about each other and about themselves, we executed [the ride] safely, operational risk management procedures were all in place and we built camaraderie,” said Kepler. 
Kepler also said company-sponsored motorcycle rides are meant to be held on a quarterly basis, but the command looks to host them with more frequency during the summer months.

I MEF Leaders

Lt. Gen. Karsten "Hazel" Heckl
Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Lieutenant General Karsten "Hazel" Heckl assumed command of I Marine Expeditionary Force on 31 July 2020.A native of Stone Mountain Georgia, Lieutenant General Heckl graduated from Georgia State University and was commissioned in April 1988.  He was designated an unrestricted Naval Aviator in September 1990.Lieutenant General Heckl commanded Marine

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Brig. Gen. Ryan S. “Chick” Rideout
Deputy Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Brigadier General Rideout assumed duties as Deputy Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force in July 2021. His previous assignment was serving as Director, Military Advisor Group, Combined Joint Task Force - Operation INHERENT RESOLVE based in Baghdad, Iraq from June of 2020 to June 2021. Fleet Marine Force assignments include: Commanding

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Colonel Brian Rideout
Chief of Staff, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Colonel Rideout holds a baccalaureate degree in Psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University, a Master of Science in Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Master of Military Studies from Marine Corps University and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.  He is a graduate

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Sgt. Maj. Terrence C. Whitcomb
Sergeant Major, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Sergeant Major Whitcomb began Marine Corps Recruit Training on 14 September 1993 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California with Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion.  He was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class and graduated Recruit Training on 10 December 1993. Following graduation from Recruit Training, Private First

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Command Master Chief

 Though a native of Montebello, California, Master Chief Ruiz calls Monte Vista, Colorado home.  He enlisted in the Navy in March 1991, reported to basic training at RTC Great Lakes, Illinois and completed Signalman “A” School at NTC Orlando, Florida.  After serving two tours as a collateral-duty Command Career Counselor in 2000 and 2003, he became

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