MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Colonel Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. passed command of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) to Col. Douglas M. Stilwell in a change of command ceremony held here at Goettge Memorial Field House June 2.
During his time as commander, McKenzie led his Marines in two separate combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Before he left the 22nd MEU for the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va., McKenzie said the thing he’ll miss most is working with his Marines.
“I want to thank the Marines and sailors of the MEU,” said McKenzie. “They took my ideas and turned them into reality. I know this MEU is going on to bigger and better things under its new commanding officer.”
The II Marine Expeditionary Force Commanding General Lt. Gen. James F. Amos was present at the ceremony, awarding McKenzie his second Legion of Merit Medal.
“The MEU has done some incredible things over the past 25 months under Col. McKenzie,” said Amos. “I know that their reputation will remain the same in the years to come.”
Stilwell comes to the MEU from Headquarters Marine Corps, Quantico, Va., where he served as Current Operations branch head, deputy director for operations, and executive assistant to the deputy commandant, Plans Policies and Operations Department.
“It is an honor to assume command of this unit. It is truly a magnificent unit,” said Stilwell. “I couldn’t be prouder or more excited to lead these Marines, and trust me, we will be combat ready.”
The MEU consists of its Command Element, Battalion Landing Team, Aviation Combat Element and MEU Service Support Group.