III MEF command leaders discuss top issues

III MEF command leaders discuss top issues

by Cpl. Lena Wakayama, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office
U.S. Marine Corps

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Commanders, sergeants major and command master chiefs with commands throughout III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installations Pacific gathered May 28-29 for a III MEF and MCIPAC conference at the Butler Officers’ Club on Camp Foster.

The conference improves unit and individual readiness by increasing the participants’ awareness of the operational environment and the importance of using an “engaged leadership” philosophy as the principal methodology for succeeding, according to Lt. Col. Raymond H. Legall, the deputy future operations plans officer with G-3, operations and training, III MEF.

“The conference allows commanders and senior enlisted advisors an opportunity to provide best practices and strategies for maintaining readiness in the face of contemporary restraints and constraints,” said Legall.

The two-day conference covered a variety of topics, including the Defense Policy Review Initiative, training and exercise coordination, diversity and the Marine Corps force integration plan, as well as progress regarding previously implemented initiatives to reset the force. The commanders and senior enlisted Marines were given the opportunity to ask questions and engage one another in discussions regarding these issues and topics.

“Our nation is rebalancing to the Pacific, and part of that rebalance is the detailed planning that goes on,” said Col. Brian W. Cavanaugh, the commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF. “To actually get the plan done, it’ll take the MEF commanding general on down to the lance corporals to execute. To have a successful rebalance to the Pacific, there’s a lot of detailed planning and efforts that we have to go through. Discussions like this bring it all together.”

The general officers of III MEF and major subordinate commands were present at the conference to include Lt. Gen. John Wissler, the commanding general of III MEF; Maj. Gen. Charles L. Hudson, commanding general of MCIPAC; Maj. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III, commanding general of 3rd Marine Division Brig. Gen. Paul J. Kennedy, commanding general of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and deputy commanding general of III MEF;; Brig. Gen. Niel E. Nelson, commanding general of 3rd Marine Logistics Group; and Brig. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, commanding general of 1st MAW.

“This conference will improve individual command team relationships by bringing together all colonels and above commanders and their senior enlisted leaders into a rich dialogue of leadership across both MCIPAC and III MEF,” said Wissler. “MCIPAC serves as the 5th element of the III MEF Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and their presence and contributions are vital in our training and garrison operations. Their input during the conference will be critical to making III MEF a better warfighting organization.”

The commanders try to get together twice a year, according to Cavanaugh. The best way for the leaders to communicate is to meet and share knowledge.

“It’s important to see my counterparts and have these kinds of conversations,” said Cavanaugh. “This way we can grow together and make the Marine Corps stronger.”

Wissler said he wants commanders and all senior enlisted leaders to understand the environment in which they live and work, how each impacts other command teams, and the importance of dialogue among commanders in utilizing every tool available to execute the privilege of command every day.

“By sharing this information, we will better care for the most valuable asset in III MEF and MCIPAC: the Marines, sailors, and civilians we lead every day,” said Wissler.

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