MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines and sailors of I Marine Expeditionary Force welcomed aboard their new commanding general, Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, during a change of command ceremony here July 11, 2014.
Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, who served as the I MEF commanding officer for nearly two years, relinquished command of the unit to Berger, who most recently served as the commanding general of Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.
Berger said he is thankful for the example set by Toolan, who had done a great deal in teaching him to be a more successful leader at the MEF level. Berger also said that he sees his new responsibilities as a privilege and an honor when there were so many other choices for new commanders.
"The Toolans have done a fantastic job and have taught me a lot," said Berger. "Coming from 1st Marine Division, I had a lot to learn about how things were run on the MEF level and I have to thank the Toolans for their mentorship, patience and understanding that has put me on the level of leadership that I am at now."
During the ceremony, Toolan outlined the accomplishments, both past and present of the Marines of I MEF and gave thanks for their sacrifices and hard work, with which he credited much of his success.
"Marines are here for each other," said Toolan. "It's all about fighting for that brother and that sister next to you. The Marines here today accomplished the goals set before them and sanctified the ground that they fought on."
At the conclusion of his speech, Berger expressed the pride and enthusiasm that come with his new duties and promised the Marines of I MEF that he would do all that he could to be a strong leader and move them in the right direction.
"The Marines of I MEF will have my very best," said Berger. "I can't promise them anymore or any less."