The parade field on Stone Bay at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune hosted top ranking U.S. Special Operations Command officials, Marine Raiders and their families to witness Maj. Gen. Carl E. Mundy III assume command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) on Tuesday morning.
"I'm privileged to be able to be a part of this wonderful organization. Everyday that I'm in this billet ... would be a privilege to serve alongside you, and an honor to command you," Mundy said early Tuesday.
The Change of Command ceremony was held on Stone Bay and included the passing of the Marine colors to symbolize the transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability from the outgoing commander, Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, to Mundy.
"It's always nice rolling into the front gate and see a couple things that you remember, like the Driftwood Lounge. I don't think that place has changed since I was a second lieutenant. It was the bane of the blotter on Monday morning," Mundy quipped during his remarks.
Mundy served his first tour in the area 30 years prior to assuming command of MARSOC.
Gen. John M. Paxton, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, was the presiding senior officer at the ceremony, representing Gen. Robert B. Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps.
Osterman was relieved of his command effective at 9 a.m. Tuesday after two years commanding MARSOC.
"The thing that has most impressed me is the caliber of the Marine, sailors, soldiers and civilians that we have here. I mean it really is extraordinary," Osterman said after the ceremony.
He will report to U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida for service as its deputy commander.
Osterman will also be promoted to lieutenant general, according to ceremony officials.
"I've had some of the most sophisticated political-military discussions of my career sitting down with a sergeant or a staff sergeant at the team level during a RAVEN exercise," Osterman said. "That's a great example of just the caliber, depth of intellect and professionalism that they have as individuals."
His accomplishments include the regionalization of the three Marine Raider Battalions and their support battalions; significant expansion of MARSOC's intelligence organization and capabilities; the development of the Special Operations Forces Liaison Element concept, which integrated planning and coordination between special operations and Marine Expeditionary Units; and much more.
"One of the big things I had to do was adjust my thought from maneuver battalions and regiments when I got here to understanding that small teams have strategic effects out in the battlespace, out globally," Osterman said of some early challenges commanding MARSOC.